Japanese Communists denounce plan to dump radiation-tainted water into ocean
A worker for Tokyo Electric Power Co. looks at an extra cooling pool containing spent fuel from reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Feb. 27, 2021. | Hiro Komae / AP

TOKYO—In defiance of strong opposition from local fishermen and the National Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations (JF Zengyoren), the government of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on April 13 decided to release radiation-tainted water into the ocean from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Regarding this decision, Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira in the Diet building said to the press, “The government made the decision in a high-handed manner that is undesirable in a democratic country.”

Koike pointed out that in addition to opposition from the JF Zengyoren and Fukushima fishermen’s cooperatives, the Fukushima Prefectural Assembly and 70% of local assemblies in Fukushima adopted a statement opposing the ocean release plan.

He also pointed out that in August 2015, the national government and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) in their written response said that they will not dispose of radioactive Fukushima water without obtaining the understanding of all concerned parties. Koike said, “Nevertheless, PM Suga outrageously decided to execute the plan after a 20-minute talk with the Zengyoren president last week. This is unacceptable.”

Koike stressed, “Even after ten years from the 2011 quake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster, the fisheries industry in Fukushima has yet to achieve full recovery. On top of this, they are experiencing hardships due to the pandemic and poor catches. They will be devastated if the ocean release of contaminated water is steamrollered.”

Furthermore, Koike said, “What the government intends is to discharge into the ocean tritium-tainted water from storage tanks at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. However, coastal fishermen in the Tohoku region including Fukushima fishermen express concerns that it is highly likely that cooling water for the melted nuclear fuel will also be dumped into the ocean.”


Shimbun Akahata
Shimbun Akahata

Shimbun Akahata (しんぶん赤旗) is the daily newspaper of the Japanese Communist Party.