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Moon Considers Referring Fukushima Water Release Plan to International Tribunal

Written: 2021-04-14 15:25:06Updated: 2021-04-14 19:09:25

Moon Considers Referring Fukushima Water Release Plan to International Tribunal

Photo : KBS News

Anchor: Speaking to the Japanese ambassador to Seoul, President Moon Jae-in delivered rising concerns in South Korea over Japan's decision to release radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean. Moon also ordered his staff to review the possibility of taking the case to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea(ITLOS).
Kim Bum-soo has more. 

Report: South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressed concerns over Japan’s plan to discharge radioactive water from a tsunami-crippled nuclear plant into the ocean to the country’s envoy in South Korea.

Presidential spokesperson Kang Min-seok told reporters that Moon received the letter of credence from new Japanese Ambassador to Seoul Koichi Aiboshi on Wednesday, and delivered the South Korean public’s concern over the issue.  

[Sound bite: Presidential spokesperson Kang Min-seok (Korean-English translation)]
“While noting that he cannot help but discuss Japan’s decision to discharge contaminated water, President Moon said that concerns are mounting in South Korea, which is in the closest geographical proximity to Japan and also shares the ocean. Saying that Ambassador Koichi Aiboshi must be well aware of the concerns of the South Korean government and the public, President Moon asked him to deliver the worries to his home country.” 

Earlier in the day, Moon asked his officials to consider ways to resolve the issue at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, including filing for a temporary injunction, which would block the release until the court’s decision on the matter is finalized. 

This comes a day after Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga revealed plans to release more than one-point-25 million tons of treated but still radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean, starting in about two years’ time.

While announcing the decision despite opposition from neighboring countries, Suga said the Advanced Liquid Processing System(ALPS) will treat the contaminated water, eventually removing most of the radioactive materials except for tritium. However, they will sufficiently dilute the remaining isotope to one-seventh of the benchmark for drinkable water set by the World Health Organization(WHO).

Despite the assurance, the move sparked protests in Japan, as well as South Korea, China and other neighboring countries.

A massive earthquake and 15-meter tsunami in 2011 had led to the meltdown of reactors at the power plant, requiring the Japanese government to inject water to cool off the cores. 

That water, enough to fill the Tokyo Dome baseball stadium, is now stored in tanks at the plant, reaching over 91 percent of storage capacity.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.

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