This aerial picture from a Jiji Press charter aircraft shows tanks containing radioactive water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, 24 August 2023 (issued 05 October 2023). On 05 October 2023, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (TEPCO) started the second offshore discharge of treated radioactive water containing radioactive tritium diluted with a large amount of seawater from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean. (Japón, Tokio) EFE/EPA/JIJI PRESS JAPAN OUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY

China lashes out at Japan for fresh release of Fukushima water

Beijing, Oct 6 (EFE).- China has reiterated its “firm opposition” to Japan’s dumping of contaminated and treated water from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea, calling for an international push to monitor the act.

South Korean civic activists hold a rally in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, 05 October 2023, calling for the Japanese government to stop releasing radioactive water from its crippled nuclear reactors in Fukushima into the Pacific Ocean. EFE-EPA/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT

The second phase of water release from the damaged plant began on Tuesday, after the first discharge, was carried out within the established safety limits.

“China’s position on Japan’s ocean discharge is consistent and clear. We firmly oppose this unilateral move by Japan,” the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

The statement emphasized that the sea “belongs to all humanity” and urged the Japanese government to “respond to all the concerns of the international community.”

It also called on Japan to maintain “full and sincere communication with neighboring countries and dispose of the nuclear-contaminated water in a responsible way.”

“The international community needs to push for an international monitoring arrangement that will stay effective for the long haul and ensure that Japan’s neighboring countries and other stakeholders can participate substantively in the arrangement,” the statement added.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) completed the discharge of 7,788 cubic meters of the processed liquid in the first phase between Aug.24 and Sep.11, according to data provided by the energy company.

Millions of tons of contaminated water have been generated at the plant’s facilities, either by the cooling work of the damaged reactors and the fuel melted in the 2011 atomic accident or by the leaks of rainwater into them over the years.

Before the water is discharged, it undergoes a complex filtering process that removes most of the harmful radioactive elements, except tritium, which is an isotope found naturally.

China had been the most critical of the release, which led it to impose a trade ban on Japan’s maritime products, a decision Tokyo protested at the World Trade Organization.

According to data, Japanese exports of seafood to China (excluding processed seafood) fell 75.7 percent year-on-year in August to 2.18 trillion yen.