The Chinese government strongly opposes the Japanese government’s plan to release water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin criticized the plan as “extremely selfish and irresponsible” during a press briefing. He stated that the ocean should not be treated as a dumping ground for Japan’s nuclear-contaminated water, and that Japan’s decision prioritizes its own interests over the well-being of humanity.
Wang expressed China’s grave concern and firm opposition to the plan, emphasizing that Beijing is committed to safeguarding the marine environment, ensuring food safety, and protecting the health and lives of its citizens. Although he did not provide specific details, he indicated that Beijing would take all necessary measures to fulfill these commitments.
Earlier on the same day, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced that the disposal of wastewater into the Pacific Ocean would commence on August 24, weather conditions permitting. The Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant has been producing 100 cubic meters of radioactive water each day to prevent reactor meltdowns since it was severely damaged by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. However, storage capacity on site is running out, prompting the need for a solution.
Tokyo maintains that the treated wastewater poses no threat to human health or marine life. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) supports the ocean dumping proposal, stating that its impact on the environment would be negligible. The wastewater contains about 190 becquerels of tritium per liter, well below the World Health Organization’s limit of 10,000 becquerels. IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi even asserted that the water was safe enough for drinking and swimming.
China and several other countries have voiced their concerns over the plan, questioning Japan’s decision to discharge the water into the sea when it is supposedly safe. Wang highlighted that China has repeatedly pointed out this inconsistency and questioned why Japan would resort to ocean dumping if the water is indeed harmless.
Although Beijing did not provide explicit details, it was revealed that China’s special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao have decided to impose import controls on Japanese seafood. These controls will cover live, frozen, refrigerated, and dried fish, as well as sea salt and seaweed. This move is a clear response to the perceived risks associated with the release of Fukushima’s radioactive water.
In conclusion, the Chinese government strongly opposes Japan’s plan to discharge water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean. It views this decision as selfish and irresponsible, emphasizing its commitment to protect the marine environment, ensure food safety, and safeguard the health and lives of its people. The concerns raised by China and other countries highlight the need for further dialogue and reassessment of the potential risks associated with the ocean dumping plan.