Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday that the time is ripe to decide the fate of the treated radioactive water stored at the Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant, despite strong opposition from fishermen over its release into the sea.

In a meeting between Suga and Hiroshi Kishi, president of the National Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations, the fisheries association chief reiterated concerns over the reputational damage that the discharge into the Pacific Ocean may inflict on fisheries products from Fukushima Prefecture.

After the meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office, Kishi quoted Suga as saying, “The disposal of ALPS treated water is unavoidable and experts have recommended that the release into the sea is the most realistic method that can be implemented. Based on these inputs, I would like to decide the government’s policy.” ALPS refers to the process used to treat the water at the tsunami-stricken plant.