Beijing, 11 March 2023 (TDI): During a regular press briefing on Friday, Mao Ning, a Spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, expressed strong disapproval of Japan’s proposal to discharge nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean.
First, Mao urged Japan to hold consultations with all relevant stakeholders and international organizations before proceeding with any ocean dumping.
As she said, “Japan must not start discharging the nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean before reaching consensus through full consultation with neighboring countries and other stakeholders, as well as relevant international agencies.”
The comments were made in response to accusations by Suh Kune-yull, a professor emeritus of Nuclear Energy System Engineering at Seoul National University, who likened the plan to a “terrorist attack” on the Pacific Ocean.
Mao noted, “We have noted that many experts and scholars have made strong criticisms over Japan’s plan to discharge nuclear-contaminated water from Fukushima into the ocean.”
According to her statement, Japan is obligated under international law to prevent environmental pollution and minimize hazardous activities.
Mao also pointed out that the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) technical task force has not completed its assessment of Japan’s proposed discharge plan, nor reached a final conclusion.
Despite this, Japan approved the plan and expedited the construction of discharge facilities without consulting all relevant stakeholders. Mao strongly criticized this move as highly irresponsible.
Moreover, She emphasized that the disposal of Fukushima’s nuclear-contaminated water has far-reaching consequences for both the global marine environment and public health.
Therefore, she argued that it is not solely a domestic matter for Japan to address. Consequently, she urged Japan to acknowledge and address the legitimate concerns of all parties involved in the disposal of nuclear-contaminated water from Fukushima.
Also, China is calling on Japan to fulfill its obligations by undergoing strict monitoring by the international community and disposing of the waste in a scientifically sound, open, transparent, and safe manner.
Mao also emphasized the importance of exploring alternative disposal methods rather than solely relying on ocean discharge.