China brands Japan's plan to release treated Fukushima water into sea as 'extremely irresponsible'

Around 1.25 million tons of water has accumulated at the site of the nuclear power plant, which was crippled after a tsunami in 2011 after the collapse
The Japanese government has approved a plan to release over one million tons of treated water from the affected Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Tuesday.
The release is unlikely to begin for at least two years, but it has already sparked opposition from local fishing communities and concerns in Beijing and Seoul.
The Japanese government argues that the release will be safe because the water has been processed to remove and dilute almost all radioactive elements.
It is backed by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which says the release is similar to the procedures used to dispose of wastewater from nuclear power plants in other parts of the world.
"The Japanese government has put in place basic guidelines to release the treated water into the ocean after the water is safe ... and while the government is taking steps to prevent reputational damage," Suga told reporters.
Around 1.25 million tons of water has accumulated at the site of the nuclear power plant, which was crippled after a tsunami in 2011 after the collapse.
The work will take place in 2013 in the damaged reactor unit No. 4 - EPA
It contains water to cool the plant as well as rainwater and groundwater that penetrates daily.
The water will be pumped out and filtered, but the decision is sure to spark controversy and upset regional countries and local fishing communities who have tried for years to restore confidence in local seafood.
China said Japan's plan would harm public health, complaining that Tokyo had decided to dispose of the nuclear wastewater "regardless of domestic and foreign doubts and opposition."
"This approach is extremely irresponsible and will seriously harm international public health and safety and the vital interests of people in neighboring countries," the State Department said in a statement on its website.
Beijing said the ocean is "the common property of mankind" and the disposal of nuclear waste water "is not just Japan's domestic problem."
"China will continue to monitor developments closely with the international community and reserves the right to provide further responses," the State Department said.
Kanji Tachiya, head of a local fishing cooperative in Fukushima, told NHK before the announcement: "They told us that they would not dump the water into the sea without the support of the fishermen.
"We cannot support this step in order to break this promise and let the water one-sided into the sea."
The South Korean Foreign Minister expressed "serious regret on Monday about this decision, which in the future could directly or indirectly affect the security of our people and the environment".
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Yoshihide Suga

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