Japan Stresses Safety of Fukushima Treated Water at IAEA Meeting

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Minister for Science and Technology Policy Sanae Takaichi delivers a speech at the annual meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday in Vienna.

VIENNA — Science and technology minister Sanae Takaichi sought understanding from the international community for the discharge of treated water from the Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant at an International Atomic Energy Agency conference on Monday in Vienna.

The five-day meeting is the first annual IAEA General Conference to be held since the water discharge started. At the meeting, Takaichi explained the background for the discharge, post-discharge surveys and other issues. She said the discharge of treated water into the ocean has been done safely and according to plan in the month since the release started. She stressed the importance of cooperation with the IAEA, and said Japan would “continue to ensure safety until the last drop of the water” was discharged, so as to ensure safety for humans or the environment.

In his opening remarks, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi touched on the agency’s commitment to monitoring the discharge. “The IAEA is performing an independent monitoring, sampling and evaluation of the situation there. And we will continue, as I said, until the last drop for decades to come,” he said.

A representative from China referred to the treated water as “nuclear-contaminated water” and said the discharge was irresponsible. The representative expressed concern over the long-term effects on the ocean.

Takaichi replied that among IAEA member states only China was employing groundless messaging and imposing excessive import restrictions. She asked that China act based on scientific evidence and share accurate information.