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S. Korea calls in Japanese diplomat over plans for Fukushima water

South Korea's Foreign Ministry summons Tomofumi Nishinaga, minister for economic affairs from the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, on Aug. 19, 2019, to discuss a reported plan that would see water contaminated from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown discharged into the Pacific Ocean. (Kyodo)

SEOUL (Kyodo) -- South Korea's Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned the economy minister from the Japanese embassy in Seoul to discuss a reported plan that would see water contaminated from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown discharged into the Pacific Ocean.

Kwon Se Jung, the director general in charge of climate change and environmental affairs at the ministry, called in Tomofumi Nishinaga, a minister for economic affairs from the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, to address growing public concern over the plan.

In addition to the delivery of a note verbale, Kwon requested Japan's official stance on how it plans to dispose of the water, the ministry said in a statement released after their meeting.

Nishinaga, in response, said he would deliver South Korea's stance to Japan, and that his nation will give a transparent explanation on how the water discharge plan will be processed, not only to South Korea but also the international community.

Environmental groups and activists, such as Greenpeace, have warned about the danger posed by any discharge of the Fukushima water contaminated with tritium into the Pacific Ocean, underscoring the effect it would have on South Korea.

Last week, South Korea's Foreign Ministry spokesman Kim In Cheol, in his regular briefing with reporters, said that the ministry would take active measures regarding the discharge plan.

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