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China Fuming Over Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Waste Water Plan, May Completely Ban Seafood Imports From the Country

Published: July 6, 2023
Rafael Mariano Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, left, and Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) President Tomoaki Kobayakawa pose for a photo with the paper they just signed on agreements to cooperate with TEPCO on information exchange to raise marine life, as they were visiting a lab at the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant on July 5, 2023 in Fukushima, Japan. Grossi toured the site as the Japanese government planned to release water that was stored at the site into the Pacific Ocean. (Image: Hiro Komae - Pool/Getty Images)

It’s been more than a decade since a massive earthquake triggered a tsunami that severely damaged Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant. Since then, Japanese authorities have been struggling to contain the damage, storing massive amounts of contaminated water, that came into contact with exposed fuel rods, on site. Recently however, Japan has received approval from the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog to release the water into the Pacific Ocean, a decision that has communist China, and other countries, fuming.

The approval to dump the water into the ocean comes after years of planning and deliberations that concluded that there is no other viable way to deal with the contaminated water.  

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has published a report endorsing the plan, insisting that the release will have a “negligible” impact on the surrounding environment, however many remain skeptical.

Rafael Mariano Grossi, the head of the IAEA, recently arrived in Japan to visit the site and deliver the UN’s safety review to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.


According to a Reuters report, the process will take decades to complete. Currently, tanks on site hold about 1.3 million tonnes of radioactive water, enough to fill 500 Olympic sized swimming pools, however it won’t be released all at the same time.

China is perhaps the fiercest critic of the plan, blasting the plan calling it “irresponsible, unpopular and unilateral,” and many believe that China will retaliate by placing a wider ban on seafood from the region following the release.

Last year, China was the largest importer of Japanese seafood, despite being one of a number of countries that have placed restrictions on imports from regions suspected of being impacted by the disaster. 

China was the destination for 22.5 percent of all Japanese seafood exports last year, worth 87 billion yen, or approximately $US 603.7 million.

Currently, China bans seafood imports from 10 of Japan’s 47 prefectures and all food and feed imports from nine of them.

The Straits Times is reporting that three Japanese officials and a ruling party lawmaker anonymously said that they expect China to expand restrictions, and two of the officials said that China’s retaliation could include a blanket ban.

“We think they may enforce a total ban on Japanese maritime products,” one of the officials said. “They want to punish Japan economically for this.”

On July 5, Hong Kong authorities said that it would “immediately take control measures, including imposing import controls on aquatic products from high-risk prefectures,” the Strait Times reported.

Consumers in China are taking to social media and calling for boycotts of Japanese products, a trend that last week briefly sent the share price of Japanese cosmetics maker Shiseido down.

Other than increased restrictions on Japanese seafood imports, China has been quiet about other ways it intends to protest the release, saying only that Japan will “bear all the consequences” of its actions.

However, experts have come forward confident that China’s concerns are baseless and that the communist regime’s protests, particularly those voiced on social media, are “misinformed” and that any assertion by the Chinese foreign ministry that Japan has unilaterally decided on the plan are simply untrue.

China is accused of raising unscientific accusations for political reasons, with some pointing out that Chinese nuclear facilities, like the Qinshan No 3 Nuclear Power Plant in China’s Zhejiang Province, emits approximately 6.5 times the level of contaminants than the level projected for the Fukushima plant, Japan Forward reported.