Asia-Pacific Research, April 15, 2021South China Morning Post 13 April 2021
Beijing warned that it might take action in response to Tokyo’s decision to dump radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea, adding to already strained ties between the two East Asian neighbours, while also urging Washington to be “impartial” on the issue.
China’s foreign ministry on Tuesday blasted the Japanese government for being “extremely irresponsible” in its decision to release 1 million tonnes of waste water into the Pacific Ocean in two years, a decision that has prompted fierce opposition from the local fishing industry as well as neighbouring countries, including South Korea, and environmental groups. However, the United States said the approach was acceptable.
“The US side has always paid a lot of attention to environmental issues. We hope the US side can be impartial in its treatment towards environmental issues of real concern,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told a cabinet meeting on Tuesday that the decision, long delayed by public opposition and safety concerns, was the “most realistic option”. This comes a decade after the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl was triggered by a huge earthquake and tsunami that ripped through northeastern Japan in 2011.
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