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Democratic Party leader says he demanded “transparent disclosure” of information about Fukushima water treatment

Lee Nak-yeon discussed issue with Japanese ambassador to S. Korea at National Assembly

Democratic Party lawmaker Lee Nak-yeon (left) and Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Koji Tomita at the National Assembly on Oct. 22.

October 23, 2020

Democratic Party Lee Nak-yeon, considered one of the preeminent “Japan watchers” among South Korean politicians, requested the transparent disclosure of information about treatment of radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant during a meeting with Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Koji Tomita on Oct. 22.

Speaking to reporters after his meeting with Tomita at the National Assembly that morning, Lee said, “I stressed the need for the transparent disclosure of all information regarding treatment of water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, and told him that Japan needs to proceed with the support of the international community.”

Lee also quoted Tomita as replying that the Japanese government “has not finalized its decision and is aware of South Korea’s concerns,” adding that he would “agree to the two requests” from Lee.

“Ambassador Tomita said that all information is being shared in a transparent manner, and that the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] has shared the position that [the release of contaminated water] is technically feasible and consistent with international practice,” Lee said.

Japan’s dumping of contaminated water from Fukushima into the ocean is a sensitive issue that could lead to an outpouring of anti-Japan sentiment in South Korea. The Japanese government is currently treating the water with an advanced liquid processing system (ALPS) to remove radioactive substances and storing it in 1,000-ton tanks. The number of storage tanks has exceeded 1,300 to date, a matter of increasing concern for the Japanese government. Its current plan is to dilute the water and dump it into the Pacific Ocean. While the decision is a matter of Japanese sovereignty and has the support of parties such as the IAEA, it has the potential to escalate into a sensitive diplomatic issue for Seoul and Tokyo.

Lee also quoted Tomita as “sharing his hope for the resumption of interchange and aviation routes between South Korea and Japan.” At the same time, Lee noted, “The issues related to economic measures stem from the forced conscription issue, and it’s a framework where it’s difficult for such issues to be resolved first or separately.”

October 26, 2020 - Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , ,

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