The government on Tuesday authorized the release of 1.25 million tons of radioactive water stored at the Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant into the sea, and announced a range of steps to address worries over reputational damage to local fisheries and food, Osamu Tsukimori and Satoshi Sugiyama report.

The reaction from the neighbors was swift and strong, with China, South Korea and Taiwan expressing opposition to the plan. Beijing called the move “extremely irresponsible,” saying Japan had decided “unilaterally” and that the release would “hurt the interest of the people in neighboring countries.”

While the government has stressed that the release will be done in line with international standards, there are major concerns among consumers, fishermen and environmentalists over the impact on sea life, Kyodo reports.

Fukushima radioactive waste water to be dumped into the sea | DW NEWS
Fukushima radioactive waste water to be dumped into the sea | DW NEWS

As the government faces a long PR battle over the safety of the water release, the words of Keiya Fujimori, a director of studies on pregnant women for the Radiation Medical Science Center at Fukushima Medical University, on a related issue seem tailor-made for the moment.

“It won’t do any good just to say that it’s scientifically safe,” Fujimori says, stressing the importance of offering solid data on the effects of radiation to expectant moms, something he has been striving to do since 3/11, the Fukushima Minpo reports.

At the end of the day, is nuclear energy worth the waste? Bloomberg reports on two fishing villages in Hokkaido that are vying to host the final resting place for half a century of Japanese nuclear waste, splitting communities between those seeking desperately needed investment and those haunted by the Fukushima disaster.