The government has stressed that the release of accumulating water used to cool melted nuclear fuel at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant will be done in line with international standards, but concerns remain among consumers, fishermen and environmentalists over the impact on marine products.

The concerns are in no small part rooted in persistent distrust among the Japanese public toward the government and the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., with criticism centering on the lack of a credible explanation of the safety of the water processed to remove all contaminants except radioactive tritium, as well as on intended countermeasures against reputational damage to marine products, analysts said.

The government and Tepco say the discharge of the filtered and diluted water containing tritium is vital in moving forward the decadeslong process to scrap the Fukushima No. 1 complex and is therefore key to the recovery of Fukushima Prefecture.