South Korea Lodges Protest With Japan Over Fukushima Water Release Plan, Reports Say
© REUTERS / KYODOAn aerial view shows the storage tanks for treated water at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan February 13, 2021, in this photo taken by Kyodo.
© REUTERS / KYODO
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs has lodged a protest with the Japanese Embassy in Seoul over Tokyo's plan to discharge radioactive water from the disabled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean, the Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday, citing the ministry.
The South Korean ministry's director general for climate change, energy, environment and scientific affairs, Lee Tong-q, has summoned Makoto Hayashi, a minister at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, to express regrets over the plans.
"Director General Lee stressed the importance of sufficient consultations over the planned disposal of the contaminated water, and of providing information with sincerity, and relayed our citizens' concerns," the ministry was quoted as saying.
Seoul also urged Tokyo to cooperate on the establishment of a bilateral consultative body on the matter, the news agency added.
Earlier this week, the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), unveiled plans to dig a 0.6-mile offshore tunnel that will be used to dump treated radioactive water farther into the ocean. TEPCO needs the approval from the national nuclear regulator to begin the work.
Tokyo announced plans to release the toxic water into the Pacific Ocean back in April, sparking a strong backlash and concerns from Russia, China, North and South Korea. In addition to neighbours, about 30 Japanese civil organizations, including the national Japan Fisheries Cooperatives, as well as local municipal authorities in the Fukushima prefecture, oppose the release of treated water into the ocean.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, however, backed Japan's initiative, saying it will send experts to monitor the process.