National

Olympics minister denounces South Korean posters of Tokyo 2020 torch runner in a hazmat suit

JIJI, Staff Report

Seiko Hashimoto, minister for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, on Friday denounced South Korean-made posters showing an Olympic torch relay runner wearing a hazmat suit and what appears to be radioactive material spewing from the torch.

The posters were reportedly drawn up by the Voluntary Agency Network of Korea, a civic group. VANK said the intent was to raise the issue of nuclear safety as Japan prepares to host the 2020 Games. The torch relay will start at J-Village, near the stricken Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

The posters are “very regrettable,” Hashimoto told a news conference. “The use of such a poster is unacceptable.”

Hashimoto said the government will offer sincere explanations to the international community on the basis of scientific evidence to counter moves that could spread groundless rumors about the nuclear disaster.

On Thursday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the government lodged strong protests about the posters with South Korea using all possible channels.

The Fukushima No. 1 power plant was hit by a triple core meltdown following the March 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami. It is managed by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.

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