Earlier in the day, the Kyodo news agency reported that Japan had finalised its decision to release some 1.2 million tonnes of contaminated water into the ocean — the decision that triggered concerns among neighboring countries, with China and South Korea urging the Japanese government to revise it. The US and the EU called on Japan to ensure that the procedure is in line with all safety standards. Tokyo, in turn, attempted to allay concerns, insisting there would be no negative impact on the environment or human health.
"To ensure safety, the concentration of tritium in water at the time of its discharge into the ocean will be set at one fortieth of the national standard and one seventh of the WHO standard for drinking water. We intend to take measures, in particular, to monitor and ensure transparency, including for any third party — for example, the International Atomic Energy Agency," Kato told reporters.
The official also recalled that China, South Korea and Taiwan had constantly released industrial waters that contained radioactive tritium not exceeding international standards into the ocean, noting that it did not affect the environment.
The process of discharging the toxic water is scheduled to be launched in 2023. Given the current rate of water accumulation in reservoirs, all available reservoirs will be overfilled by the end of 2022.