Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Tuesday that his nation will start discharging treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea on Thursday, according to Kyodo News, despite worries from nearby fishermen and persistent opposition from China. The controversial choice was made at a ministerial meeting on Tuesday morning as a result of the substantial amount of water that has accumulated at the site since the nuclear accident in 2011, which was caused by a catastrophic earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
In April 2021, Yoshihide Suga, Kishida’s predecessor, gave his approval for the water release into the Pacific Ocean “in about two years”. The current administration announced in January that the plan would be implemented sometime between “spring to around summer,” as per Kyodo News.
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Earlier, in July, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) concluded that Japan’s plan is in accordance with the global safety standards and would have a “negligible radiological impact on people and the environment,” instigating the government to start discharging the water.
While some European countries have loosened import restrictions on Japanese food, China has implemented widespread radiation testing on its neighbor’s seafood exports in an apparent effort to convince Tokyo to drop its plan, causing strained relations.