The first Minister Japanese Fumio Kishida said that he will visit the nuclear plant in fukushimadestroyed by a tsunami, on Sunday before deciding the date to release the radioactive wastewater as his government tries to win buy-in for its controversial plan at home and abroad.
“The government has reached the final stage where we must make a decision”Kishida told reporters in Washington on Friday at the end of a summit he attended with the heads of government of the United States and South Korea at the presidential vacation home at Camp David.
Since announcing the plan to release the waters two years ago, the government has faced strong opposition from fishing organizations, which they fear the damage to the reputation of their seafood. Various groups in South Korea and China have also raised concerns, turning the issue into a political and diplomatic issue.
The government and the operating company Tokyo Electric Power Co. they say that it is necessary to release the water to allow the dismantling of the plant and prevent accidental leaks from the tanks because much of the water is still contaminated and requires further treatment.
The release “cannot be postponed,” Kishida said.
Japan has received support from the International Atomic Energy Agency to improve its transparency and credibility and ensure that TEPCO’s plan meets international safety standards. The government has accelerated a campaign to promote the security of its plan at home and through diplomatic channels.
The IAEA said in a final report in July that the plan TEPCOif carried out according to the strict standards designed, will have minimal impact on the environment and human health, and encouraged Japan to carry it out.
While asking for understanding from the fishing sector, the government has given explanations to South Korea to prevent the problem from interfering with the strengthening of their relations. Seoul and Washington are striving to strengthen trilateral relations in the face of growing Chinese and North Korean threats.
(With information from AP)
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