Japan Govt Seeks Fishers’ Understanding over N-Plant Water Release

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, left, talks with local fisheries industry representatives in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, on Saturday.

MITO (Jiji Press) — Industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura met with local fisheries industry representatives Saturday to seek their understanding of the planned release into the sea of treated water from the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The government will “make all-out efforts to prevent reputational damage” to the fisheries industry from the water release, Nishimura told representatives of a federation of fisheries cooperatives in a meeting in Mito.

Federation chief Masami Tobita said, “We’re absolutely opposed to the release.” The plan to release the treated water over decades is “fueling anxiety about the future and doubt about continuous fishing operations,” he said.

The government aims to start releasing the treated water around this summer while pledging not to dispose of the water without understanding from concerned parties.

Nishimura expressed the government’s readiness to beef up support to expand consumption of fisheries products. “We’ll work to develop Japan’s fisheries industry and keep Japan as a major fishing country.

The minister also met with fisheries industry representatives in Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures.

Speaking to reporters after those talks, Nishimura said the government will keep in close contact with the fisheries industry to explain in a polite way how to secure safety and prevent reputational damage over the water release plan.