“The ocean is not Japan’s trash can,” Zhao also said. The Chinese official also tweeted a similar message in English.
Some say Japan's decision was endorsed by the US. But that doesn't mean endorsement by the international community. Oddly, the US "thanked" Japan for its efforts. If the US values environmental protection, it should shoulder its responsibility rather than adopt double-standards. pic.twitter.com/GRA9KPqOuL
— Lijian Zhao 赵立坚 (@zlj517) April 14, 2021
The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s remarks came after the Japanese government announced Tuesday it had decided to release into the sea more than 1 million tons of water collected from Fukushima, which melted down during a 2011 nuclear disaster following a tsunami.
Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso had said the treated, diluted water would be safe to drink and he thinks the country should have released the water earlier.
The plan is to begin releasing the water in two years and continue slowly over decades. The Japanese government has said the water will be treated further to remove dangerous isotopes and diluted to meet World Health Organization standards for drinking water, although it would not be able to remove one contaminant, tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be supervising the operation. Radiation experts have played down the fears about the water, too, suggesting ingesting it would result in only a minute dose of radiation and the tritium in the water would quickly pass through the body.