On April 13, Japan’s government said it would begin releasing millions of tons of treated radioactive water from the disabled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific Ocean.
Fisherman, environmentalists and neighboring states reacted strongly to the decision. China also expressed its opposition.
On April 13, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian expressed “grave concern” about the plan, arguing Japan should “refrain from wantonly discharging the wastewater before reaching consensus with all stakeholders and the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) through full consultations.”
Deng Xijun, China’s ambassador to the Association of South East Asian Nations, (ASEAN), also criticized the move, citing a study by Germany’s Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research (GEOMAR).
Deng also attacked U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who had thanked Japan “for its transparent efforts.”
Although others also have raised concerns about the water disposal plan, Beijing’s framing of the potential effects is misleading.