Japan Police Receive 225 Reports of Crank Calls from China; Callers Harangue Unrelated Entities over Fukushima Water Issue

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plan

Police nationwide have received at least 225 reports about crank phone calls that are believed to come from China and that began Thursday after the start of the discharge of treated water into the ocean at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

In one case, a single organization received more than 1,000 crank calls, and police across the country are looking into the circumstances.

A total of 225 reports had been made to the Metropolitan Police Department and 30 other prefectural police departments by noon on Monday, according to the National Police Agency. They were mainly from local governments, business entities, hotels, restaurants and schools. The Fukushima prefectural police received 74 such reports, the highest number of all.

In many of these harassing calls, the callers have made abusive comments in broken Japanese or yelled in Chinese. Many of the calls, criticizing the release of treated water into the sea, were made from numbers beginning with “86,” the country code for China, according to the police.

Crank phone calls have been made to a large number of entities in the nation, including tourist facilities, local governments and police stations that are unrelated to the release of treated water. It is believed that there are many other cases in which the recipients of such calls have not contacted the police.

“I will instruct the police to closely watch the situation in cooperation with relevant organizations,” National Public Safety Commission Chairperson Koichi Tani said at a press conference following Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting.