December 23, 2020

The mayors and governors of all 17 major cities and provinces in South Korea adopted a joint statement warning against Japan releasing contaminated water into the ocean from its crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, reports Korea JoongAng Daily.

In a joint statement Tuesday, the Governors Association of Korea, which includes cities that are administered as provinces, called on the Japanese government to “immediately halt discussions to release the radioactive water from Fukushima” and to “share information to the public in a transparent manner”.

The governors’ statement comes as Japan is nearing a decision on plans to release over 1.2 million tons of contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean.

Plans to dump the water have been delayed in Japan amid fierce protests both domestically, including by its local fishery industry, and internationally, from environmental organizations and governments of nearby countries such as Korea and China.

A massive earthquake and tsunami struck Japan on March 11, 2011, causing a meltdown at the Fukushima plant, operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company. For the past decade, Japan has struggled over what to do with radioactive water stored in huge tanks.