Yoshihiro Watanabe, 61, is a breeder of sea squirts, the leading product for the aquaculture industry in Miyagi Prefecture.

Looking toward the sea in the Yoriisohama coastal district in the city of Ishinomaki, Watanabe expressed concerns over a plan to release treated radioactive water from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The water, which contains hard-to-remove tritium, is expected to be discharged to the ocean from the nuclear plant, located some 120 kilometers away in neighboring Fukushima Prefecture, as early as next spring.

“We are already on the verge of going out of business,” Watanabe said. “It will be a matter of life and death if the treated water is released into the ocean in such a situation and domestic consumption drops.”