This article was updated at 2021-04-13 15:10.
South Korea has summoned Japanese ambassador to Seoul following Japan’s decision to release the Fukushima nuclear wastewater into the Pacific Ocean in a cabinet meeting Tuesday.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s cabinet has now approved the releasing of more than one million metric tons of radioactive wastewater from the tsunami-hit Fukushima power plant, after authorities say storage is now nearing full capacity.
The move prompted protests from neighboring countries including South Korea and China.
South Korea Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choi Jong-moon summoned Japanese Ambassador Koichi Aiboshi over the decision.
“Our government expresses strong regret over the decision and will take all necessary steps with the safety of our citizens as the top priority,” said Koo Yoon-cheol of South Korea’s Office for Government Policy Coordination.
“The decision can never be accepted and would not only cause danger to the safety and maritime environment of neighbouring countries, it was also made unilaterally without sufficient consultations with our country, which is the closest neighbour to Japan,” the statement added.
China’s foreign ministry expressed similar concerns saying, “This action is extremely irresponsible, and will seriously damage international public health and safety, and the vital interests of people in neighbouring countries.”
The Japanese government had assured it will discharge treated waters at levels safe for releasing as it ensures to “prevent reputational damage.”
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