Beijing, 7 July 2023 (TDI): China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China Atomic Energy Authority, and the National Nuclear Safety Administration have strongly criticized Japan’s plan to discharge nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean in response to the recently released report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
China’s stance is firmly grounded in science and facts. It is imperative to emphasize that the report should not serve as a “shield” or “green light” for Japan’s alarming decision.
Japan has failed to fully consult the international community, especially stakeholders. Its mind was set on dumping the Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water into the sea with or without an IAEA report. Inviting the IAEA to conduct a review is nothing but a cosmetic measure. pic.twitter.com/p9lm0xNVgN
— Spokesperson发言人办公室 (@MFA_China) July 6, 2023
During the daily press conference, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson opposed the legitimacy of the IAEA report on the basis of flowing points.
Fails to justify
Firstly, China argues that the IAEA report fails to justify Japan’s ocean discharge plan. According to China, Japan’s decision to release the contaminated water demonstrates a disregard for the international community, as the report explicitly states that it does not recommend or endorse Japan’s proposal.
Violation of international law
Secondly, China claims that Japan’s plan potentially violates international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter in 1972. China argues that Japan, as a signatory to these conventions, must explain its actions and adhere to international rules.
Safety measures not enough
Thirdly, China raises concerns about the safety of Japan’s ocean discharge plan. They argue that the effectiveness and reliability of Japan’s purification facility have not been independently verified, and the accuracy of the data on the nuclear-contaminated water is not substantiated. China believes that a comprehensive evaluation of the long-term impact on food safety and human health is necessary.
Doubts regarding data by TEPCO
Fourthly, China criticizes the monitoring arrangement proposed in the report, highlighting the past tampering and withholding of data by TEPCO, the operator of the nuclear plant. China argues that relying on TEPCO’s data without independent sampling is highly problematic.
China emphasizes that opposition to Japan’s ocean discharge plan remains widespread, both within Japan and internationally. They cite surveys showing a significant percentage of Japanese citizens and South Korean respondents disapproving of the plan.
A latest Japanese survey shows 40% of respondents oppose the government’s decision to dump nuclear-contaminated water into the sea. A joint survey by Hankook Ilbo and Yomiuri Shimbun among ROK citizens shows more than 80% of respondents disapprove of the ocean discharge plan. pic.twitter.com/y1eRB5fIKz
— Spokesperson发言人办公室 (@MFA_China) July 5, 2023
Additionally, several Pacific Island countries, including the Philippines, Indonesia, South Africa, Peru, and other nations, have expressed their opposition.
To protect public health and food safety, China announced its intent to enhance marine environment monitoring and strengthen inspection and quarantine measures for imported seafood and other products.
China urges Japan to respect science and facts, refrain from using the IAEA report as a shield, fulfill its obligations under international law, abandon the ocean discharge plan, and dispose of the nuclear-contaminated water responsibly due to the significant risks involved.