South Korea considers suing Japan for "pollution" in international court

  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China issued three consecutive questions reprimanding Japan for discharging nuclear waste water into the ocean; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia hopes that Japan will deal with related issues in a serious manner

  According to Kyodo News Agency, on April 13, local time, the Japanese government held a relevant cabinet meeting and officially decided to discharge the nuclear waste water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the sea.

The Japanese side stated that after assessment, nuclear wastewater will not have a negative impact on human health or the marine environment.

  The decision of the Japanese government caused many countries to worry about it.

On April 14, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian asked the Japanese government one after another, and emphasized that “the ocean is not Japan’s trash can, and the Pacific Ocean is not Japan’s sewer.”

  South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressed serious concern to the Japanese ambassador to South Korea, and at the same time asked officials to study the issue of "pollution discharge" to the International Court of Justice.

The spokesperson of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Zakharova also stated that it would start negotiations with the Japanese side.

  A10-A11 edition written by Luan Ruoxi, reporter of Beijing News (except for signature)


  Strongly urge Japan to recognize its own responsibilities

  On the afternoon of April 14, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China held a regular press conference. Some reporters asked questions about the Japanese government's decision to dispose of nuclear waste water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident by means of marine discharge.

  According to CCTV News, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian responded and pointed out that Japanese media said that Japan’s sea discharge is expected to start in two years and will last for 30 years. The planned nuclear waste water discharge exceeds 1 million tons. The length of the project, the wide area involved, and the unprecedented high level of risk.

  In addition, Zhao Lijian also raised three questions to the Japanese side and hoped that the Japanese side would answer them.

First, has Japan really heard the doubts and concerns at home and abroad?

Second, does Japan’s move really comply with international law?

Third, does the nuclear waste water that Japan plans to discharge really meet international standards?

  Zhao Lijian emphasized: “The ocean is not Japan’s trash can, and the Pacific is not Japan’s sewer! Japan should not make the world pay for nuclear waste water.” As for individual Japanese officials, it’s okay to drink the water. Zhao Lijian said, “Please ask him. Let's talk about it after drinking. Japan's Minamata disease is not far away, and the pain of the local victims has not been healed. The Japanese side should not forget the historical tragedy, let alone pretend to be confused."

  Zhao Lijian said that China strongly urges Japan to recognize its own responsibilities, uphold a scientific attitude, fulfill its international obligations, and respond due to the serious concerns of the international community, neighboring countries, and its citizens.

The Japanese side should re-examine the issue of nuclear waste water disposal at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, and must not initiate the discharge of the sea without authorization until it has fully negotiated and reached an agreement with the various interested countries and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

China reserves the right to make further responses.

  According to Xinhua News Agency, on April 14, local time, the China-Korea Maritime Affairs Dialogue and Cooperation Mechanism held its first meeting.

At the meeting, China and South Korea expressed their strong dissatisfaction with Japan’s unilateral decision to discharge the nuclear waste water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in recent days, despite the opposition of the international community, especially China and South Korea’s two important neighbors.

  The two sides urge the Japanese side to prudently handle the Fukushima nuclear waste water issue after full consultation with international agencies and neighboring countries, and on the basis of the substantial participation of relevant countries and international agencies.

China and South Korea will continue to maintain close communication and coordination on this, and are willing to work with the international community and regional countries to take necessary measures and actions to jointly respond to this international challenge.


  President Moon Jae-in expressed "serious concern"

  South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressed serious concern to the Japanese ambassador to South Korea on Japan’s decision to discharge nuclear waste water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea on the 14th, and asked officials to study the issue of “pollution discharge” and submit it to the International Court of Justice.

  South Korean Presidential Office spokesman Kang Min-suk said that Moon Jae-in accepted the letter of credential submitted by the new Japanese ambassador to South Korea, Sangsei Koichi, and then told the other party in the conversation that as a country adjacent to Japan, South Korea has decided to make Fukushima No. 1 on the Japanese side. Discharge of nuclear wastewater from nuclear power plants into the sea is "serious concern."

Moon Jae-in asked Xiang Xing Xiao to convey the attitude of the Korean side to the Japanese government.

  Kang Min Suk said that the South Korean president made such remarks on this occasion "extremely rare."

  In addition, Kang Minshuo said that Moon Jae-in asked government departments to "actively study" the issue of Japan's "pollution discharge" to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea at the internal meeting of the Presidential Palace on the same day.

  Yonhap News Agency reported that South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on the same day that it was considering legal actions against Japan’s practices at the international level and would cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency and relevant countries to ensure that Japan’s emissions are subject to “acceptable, scientific and objective” verification.

  On the 14th, the ruling and opposition parties in South Korea continued to express their strong opposition and condemnation on Japan's "pollution" decision.

Yonhap News Agency reported that the ruling party, the Common Democratic Party, held a meeting to "condemn the Japanese government for not transparently disclosing information or making decisions after verification procedures."

  Some Democratic Party members are dissatisfied with the US government's response to Japan's "pollution".

Senator Shen Donggen wrote on social media that as a traditional ally of South Korea, the United States "supports and favors" Japan, which is "very disappointing."

"I doubt if Canada or Mexico decides to discharge nuclear contaminated water from nuclear power plants, will the United States also issue a similar statement of support."

  The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on the same day that the South Korean side had already passed through the US embassy in South Korea and the South Korean embassy in the United States to express South Korea’s concerns to the US over Japan’s decision.

  According to Xinhua News Agency


  Will negotiate with the Japanese

  According to a CGTN report, on April 14 local time, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zakharova said in response to a reporter’s question that Russia will work with Japan on the Japanese government’s decision to discharge nuclear waste water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident into the ocean. Make negotiations.

  Russia calls on Japan to inform relevant countries about the situation, including what measures will be taken in the future to reduce the damage to the region and the ecological environment.

Zakharova pointed out that Russia is also one of the relevant countries, because the actions of the Japanese side will affect the relevant sea areas and border areas where Russian citizens live.

  According to TASS News Agency, on April 13, local time, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on Japan’s "discharge of pollutants into the sea", stating that Russia is waiting for Japan to provide detailed explanations on all aspects of its planned nuclear waste water discharge.

  Zakharova said that Russia hopes that Japan will allow radiation monitoring in the leakage area when necessary.

"We hope that Tokyo will deal with this important issue with a serious attitude, take necessary measures to minimize the negative impact on the marine environment, and avoid causing difficulties to other countries' economic activities, such as fishing."

  ●Pacific Islands Forum

  Japan should reconsider its emissions plan

  The Pacific Islands Forum on the 14th expressed deep concern about the decision of the Japanese government to discharge nuclear waste water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the sea and called on the Japanese government to reconsider this plan.

  The Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum Meg Taylor said in a statement that day, in accordance with the requirements of international law and the spirit reiterated at the South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone Treaty in December 2020, Japan should take all necessary measures to avoid happiness. The island’s nuclear wastewater has caused harm to the Pacific region, including the South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone, and Japan has apparently not taken sufficient measures to solve this problem.

  She said that the Pacific Ocean’s fisheries and other marine resources are vital to the people’s livelihood in the Pacific region and must be protected.

Therefore, the Pacific Islands Forum urgently calls on the Japanese government to postpone the decision to discharge nuclear waste water into the sea, and wait for the Pacific Islands Forum members to conduct further consultations on this issue and make independent expert assessments.

  The South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone Treaty, initiated by the Pacific Islands Forum and signed in 1985, is also known as the Rarotonga Treaty. The treaty provides for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the South Pacific region, and the contracting parties promise not to place a nuclear weapon in the region. , Test any nuclear explosive device, do not dump radioactive waste and other radioactive materials.

  The Pacific Islands Forum was established in 1971. It is a regional cooperation organization for strengthening regional cooperation and coordinating foreign policies among the governments of South Pacific countries. Its members include Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. The secretariat is located in Suva, the capital of Fiji. .

  Xinhua News Agency reporter Zhang Yongxing

  ■ Dialogue

  Kazue Suzuki, spokesperson for Greenpeace Japan Office:

  Opposing nuclear waste water entering the sea requires the efforts of every country and individual

  Yesterday, a reporter from the Beijing News interviewed Kazue Suzuki, the spokesperson of the Greenpeace Japan office.

Since the 2011 earthquake in Japan, Greenpeace has been following nuclear leaks for a long time.

Kazue Suzuki has been involved in Fukushima-related project activities full-time since May 2011.

  Regarding the nuclear waste water discharge incident in Japan, she believes that more water storage tanks need to be built to treat nuclear waste water instead of discharging the sea, and called on more people to actively speak out and join hands to oppose nuclear waste water entering the sea.

  Need to build stronger storage tanks instead of drains

  Beijing News: Can you share some research and data on nuclear waste water discharge with us?

  Kazuki Suzuki: Greenpeace has been committed to research and data related to Fukushima nuclear wastewater discharge. We have been following relevant government guidelines to discuss how to treat Fukushima nuclear wastewater.

  In the beginning, the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company said that they could extract 62 radioactive elements from the Fukushima nuclear waste water, but they could not extract a radioactive material called tritium (chuan).

Recently, they discovered that not only tritium, but also carbon-14, a radioactive substance that can exist for a long time, cannot be taken out.

Certain instruments could have taken out 62 kinds of radioactive elements, but currently these two types of radioactive elements cannot be taken out.

In the storage tanks used to store nuclear waste water, about 80% of the water has been seriously polluted, and these waters contain extremely high levels of radioactive substances.

  Radioactive materials cannot be transported, and once released, they cannot be withdrawn.

There is no critical value for the toxicity of radioactive materials, and there is no such thing as "below a certain standard, it is not dangerous."

Even very inactive nuclear radiation materials can be harmful.

In my opinion, this is the reason why we should not discharge nuclear waste water casually. They will spread across the world.

  Beijing News: What do you think is the solution?

  Kazue Suzuki: We originally had 1,000 water storage tanks, and there were places to put more, but they were not very strong.

We think we need to build stronger water storage tanks to prevent nuclear waste water from leaking out.

Tokyo Electric Power Company also needs to use higher-end technologies to treat and purify wastewater as much as possible to meet discharge standards.

  Storage and purification of nuclear wastewater is indeed the most expensive option, which is why they did not choose this option, but this is the price they need to pay.

  Japan’s move violates the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

  The Beijing News: What is the reaction of local Japanese people, international organizations and other countries?

  Kazue Suzuki: Greenpeace initiated a letter of opinion to ask the opinions of the Japanese people. Most Japanese people are opposed to the discharge of nuclear waste water into the ocean.

In 2019, about 11.7% of people across the country agreed, and 50.8% opposed to nuclear waste water entering the sea, the ratio was about 1:5.

  We have submitted a petition against the discharge of nuclear waste water, with 311 signatures from 24 countries, and petitions from all over the world.

But there are many people who are still unaware of the existence of this crisis. I hope that our voice can be passed on to more people and more people will speak up.

  For fishermen, especially those in Fukushima, this is a matter of life and death.

They have been suffering for nearly ten years, and they have just restarted the fishing industry. If the government decides to do so now, it is destined to severely hit their business.

  The Beijing News: Does Japan decide whether it violates international law?

  Kazue Suzuki: This decision violates Japan's legal obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Japan is a party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. In terms of the protection of the marine environment, the Convention clearly stipulates that the actions taken by countries when taking measures to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment shall not directly or indirectly reduce damage or danger from one source to another. The area is moved to another area, or one type of pollution is transformed into another type of pollution.

  The convention says that the ocean must be protected and we must try our best to do our best.

Discharging nuclear waste water into the sea is not the best method for the ocean, it is the worst method.

In order to protect the ocean, we must win this movement, we must succeed, and that’s what I want to say.

  We are not sure whether we will use the law to defend our rights, but we will certainly continue to lead the movement against the discharge of nuclear waste water into the ocean.

  I hope that other countries can also join this defense war. We need the efforts of every country and individual.

We must succeed.

We cannot directly discharge these untreated radioactive materials, whether they are discharged into the ocean or into the atmosphere.

  Thank the citizens of neighboring countries for opposing the discharge of nuclear waste water

  Beijing News: How will Japan’s sewage discharge into the sea affect the marine environment and human health?

  Kazue Suzuki: There are many kinds of radioactive substances in nuclear waste water. After each radioactive substance enters nature, we cannot predict their future performance.

Sometimes, fish may eat these substances, and then the fish will be eaten by humans, so it is difficult to predict the direction of radioactive substances.

  Some radioactive materials survive for a long time and cannot be withdrawn once they are released, so they are very harmful to the environment.

At the same time, radioactive materials can also harm the human body and be very detrimental to our future generations.

  I think the evaporation method is a poor alternative. Even if the radioactive material is in the air, it may still be inhaled by the human body and taken to other places.

  The Beijing News: Why are there continuous international controversies regarding this issue?

Why is it difficult to reach agreement on scientific issues?

What are the international standards?

  Kazue Suzuki: Many countries in the world are now relying on nuclear power plants to generate electricity. For some of them, I don't think they will actively speak out on anti-emission incidents.

  The "London Dumping Convention" is an international convention formulated by the International Maritime Organization in 1972, and is currently an international standard on ocean dumping.

The contracting parties recognize the importance of the marine environment and the living organisms that depend on it, and believe that international actions should be taken to control marine pollution caused by dumping of waste.

  I heard that many citizens of neighboring countries are opposed to emissions, and I am very grateful for that.

I hope we can work together to oppose nuclear waste water entering the sea.

I think that many mainstream Japanese media are also opposing emissions. They have expressed neutral opinions. I also hope that they can participate in opposing emissions together.

  Greenpeace will continue to participate in and promote activities against nuclear waste water entering the sea.

I hope that other countries and international organizations will participate in this battle, oppose emissions, and work hard to speak out.

  Beijing News reporter Peng An