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China expresses 'grave concern' over Japan decision to release Fukushima nuclear wastewater

This aerial photo taken from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter shows, from right, No. 1 through 4 reactors and wastewater tanks, background, at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, on Feb. 13, 2021. (Mainichi/Koichiro Tezuka)

BEIJING -- China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed "grave concern" on the morning of April 13 over the Japanese government's decision to release into the sea treated radioactive wastewater from Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, the site of a meltdown following the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

    In an April 13 statement, China criticized the Japanese government, saying, "Japan has unilaterally decided to release Fukushima nuclear wastewater into the sea before exhausting all safe ways of disposal and without fully consulting with neighboring countries and the international community."

    It also added: "The oceans are mankind's shared property. How the wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear power plant is handled is not merely a domestic issue for Japan. We strongly urge the Japanese side to face up to its responsibility, follow the science, fulfill its international obligations and duly respond to the serious concerns of the international community, neighboring countries and its own people."

    Ahead of the Japanese government making the decision, China's foreign ministry spokesperson had said on April 12, "To safeguard international public interests and Chinese people's health and safety, China has expressed grave concern to the Japanese side through the diplomatic channel."

    (Japanese original by Hideto Okazaki, China General Bureau)

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