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China urges Japan to consult with stakeholders on nuclear-contaminated water discharge

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-03-07 01:18
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File photo of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. [Photo/Agencies]

BEIJING - China urges Japan to fully consult with the stakeholders and relevant international organizations in terms of its nuclear-contaminated water discharge plan, a spokeswoman said on Monday.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning made the remarks at a regular news briefing when asked to comment on media reports that Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said last week that the nuclear-contaminated water in Fukushima will be released into the ocean between spring and summer this year.

"We have noted relevant reports and are gravely concerned. In disregard of the strong concerns of people in Japan and the rest of the world, the Japanese government is set on pushing through the ocean discharge plan despite its obligations under international law. This is an irresponsible act that will endanger the global marine environment and people's health," Mao said.

Japan has stored more than 1.3 million tons of nuclear-contaminated water, which means its release into the ocean could take as long as 30 years. The water contains over 60 radionuclides, which will be carried through the ocean to all parts of the world in a decade, causing unforeseeable harm to marine environment and people's health, Mao said.

"Japan's neighbors, including China, the the Republic of Korea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Russia, and the Pacific island countries have repeatedly voiced their concerns and firm opposition to the ocean discharge plan," the spokeswoman said.

She stressed that it is Japan's duty under general international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to prevent environmental pollution, minimize the hazardous effect, fully consult with the countries that might be affected, ensure transparency and engage in international cooperation.

She called on Japan to take all parties' legitimate concerns seriously, fulfill its obligations, fully consult with the stakeholders and relevant international organizations, handle the nuclear-contaminated water in a science-based, open, transparent and safe manner, including by studying alternatives to ocean discharge, and fully subject itself to international oversight, so as to protect the only planet we humanity call home.

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