China calls for ‘full consultation’ over Japan’s nuclear waste dump plan

China on Monday called on Japan to ensure “full consultation” with neighboring countries as it looks to move ahead with a controversial plan to dump nuclear wastewater into the sea.

“Japan must not go ahead with its discharge plan of nuclear-contaminated water before going through full consultation with neighboring countries and other stakeholders, as well as relevant international organizations,” said Wang Wenbin, spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, at a news conference in Beijing.

Tokyo said Friday it will start releasing treated water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear in this spring or summer.

Japan unveiled the plan in April 2021, triggering massive criticism from China, South Korea, North Korea, the island nation of Taiwan, and international bodies including the UN.

The US, however, has backed the proposal, which came after years of talks on how to get rid of more than 1 million tons of water accumulated at the Fukushima nuclear complex since its meltdown after a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

Japan has pledged $600 million in funds for local fishing communities that have also voiced opposition to the move.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has conducted an assessment of the Japanese government’s proposal and is expected to release a comprehensive report.

The IAEA has also pledged to provide support before, during, and after the entire discharge process.

Source: Anadolu Agency