Japan’s green light for the discharge into the ocean of over 1 million tons of tritium-tainted water from the wrecked Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant continues to reverberate. Opposition parties aim to make the water disposal plan a key issue in the Lower House election set to take place by autumn.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in ordered officials on Wednesday to explore petitioning the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea over Japan’s decision, amid protests by fisheries and environmental groups.
China, meanwhile, is calling on gaffe-prone Deputy PM Taro Aso to prove his claim that the treated yet still radioactive water is clean enough to drink — by downing a cup of eau de tritium himself. What’s the Mandarin for Ikki! Ikki! Ikki!?
The government’s nascent PR drive to convince people that the ocean discharge is safe got off to a bad start Wednesday. Materials featuring a kawaii tritium mascot were pulled from a website after netizens deemed the idea to be in poor taste.
Tepco is also in the doghouse. On Wednesday, the Fukushima No. 1 operator was effectively banned from restarting its largest nuclear plant due to serious safety flaws, dealing a major blow to the utility’s efforts to turn its business around following the nuclear disaster.
And finally, pop quiz: Do you know which prefecture in Japan is the farthest away from a nuclear power plant? But as a local newspaper reported last month, things could have turned out very differently, if a certain occupying power had followed through with its plans.