Economy Minister Seeks Understanding from Fisheries Federation About Treated Water

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, right, addresses members of a local fisheries federation in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, on Tuesday.

IWAKI, Fukushima — Economy minister Yasutoshi Nishimura sought understanding from representatives of a fisheries federation in Fukushima Prefecture on Tuesday about the planned discharge into the ocean of treated water from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Referring to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s comprehensive report, which stated that the plan to release the water was consistent with international safety standards, Nishimura said the safety of the plan “has been firmly confirmed.”

The IAEA report “is extremely important to suppress rumors” that create a bad image of local fishery products, he said.

Held in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, the meeting took place mostly behind closed doors. According to the attendees, the government explained the content of the IAEA report, while participants from the fisheries federation asked Nishimura about the timing of the treated water’s release. It is expected to take place around summer.

After the meeting, Nishimura told reporters that “the government’s policy to release [the water] around summer remains unchanged.” Nishimura also stressed that the government would keep its promises to the fisheries federation, which argues that treated water should not be discharged without the understanding of concerned parties.

Tetsu Nozaki, chairman of the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations, said his organization will not change its opposition to the release.

“For us, ‘understanding’ means the condition that we’ll be able to continue fishing when the decommissioning is completed,” Nozaki said.