Groups call for ‘stronger international pressure’ vs. Japan’s release of Fukushima wastewater into ocean

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10


Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 24) — Local fisher groups and environmentalists have raised the alarm over Japan releasing treated radioactive wastewater into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

They said the Philippines cannot simply be reactive and called on the Philippine government to take a stronger stand over Japan’s action.

Japan has started discharging the water on Thursday afternoon amid concerns from some neighboring countries.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that it is looking at the matter from a science- and fact-based perspective and its impact on the waters in the region.

“As a coastal and archipelagic state, the Philippines attaches utmost priority to the protection and preservation of the marine environment,” said the DFA.

The department has yet to comment on whether the government will file a formal protest .

Rommel Arambulo, national spokesman of the Lakas ng Kilusang Mamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), told the Pandesal Forum in Quezon City on Thursday that Japan’s move to release wastewater could endanger the lives of millions of fishermen.

“Nais po naming ipaabot ang mariing pag kundena sa aming panawagan na huwag lasunin ang aming Pacific Ocean,” Arambulo said.

“Kung magpapatuloy ito maapektuhan ang ating pangisdaan at milyun-milyong mangingisda na umaasa sa Pacific Ocean ,” he added.

[Translation: We condemn the decision on the wastewater and we appeal not to poison our Pacific Ocean. If this would continue, our fishing sector would be affected, and the millions who greatly depend on the Pacific Ocean.]

Environmental activist Cecilia Alvarez said that this is "an emergency" situation and the Philippines must act fast.

“This is an emergency. We should not be reactive,” Alvarez said.

“Kailan sila magsasalita kapag dumaloy na yung tubig sa Maynila [They should speak up when the water reaches Manila]," said Bayan's Mong Palatino.

"The DENR and the Philippine government should form an independent panel to review the IAEA study,” he added.

Japanese envoy: Release of treated Fukushima water transparent, compliant

Japanese Ambassador Kazuhiko Koshikawa maintained that the Japanese government followed all the international standards when it comes to the ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System) treating water into the sea.

“Japan has provided information to the international community in a transparent manner based on scientific evidence, with an emphasis on providing sufficient data," the envoy said.

"Nevertheless, there are some who questioned the IAEA Comprehensive Report,” he also said.

“I believe this is evidence of their disregard for science and such moves will only hamper global cooperation in utilizing nuclear energy and jeopardize international cooperation to ensure its safety,” Koshikawa added.

China, South Korea react on Japan’s treated wastewater decision

The Chinese Embassy in Manila expressed its strong opposition over the release of the treated Fukushima wastewater.

“This act blatantly transfers the risk of nuclear pollution to neighboring countries including China and the international community, and puts self-interest above the long-term well-being of people in the region and the world," Director Wu Chenq said

"It is extremely selfish and irresponsible," he added. "China expresses serious concern and strong opposition."

South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo also urged Japan to be transparent and responsibly disclose information on the discharge of water.