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Taiwan shares concerns with Japan about release of Fukushima wastewater

Taipei will ask for suspension of wastewater discharge if problems arise

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Protesters in Taipei condemn the release of treated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant Wednesday. 

Protesters in Taipei condemn the release of treated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant Wednesday.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — If the release of treated wastewater from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant does not go according to plan, or if excessive levels of radioactivity are found, Taiwan will ask Japan to stop the discharges, the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association (TJRA) said Thursday (Sept. 7).

Japan started the water release on Aug. 24, and any effect on Taiwan is likely to occur at least 1.5 years later. The discharge has led to protests in South Korea and China, who question the safety of the procedure.

Taiwan’s TJRA said it had informed Tokyo of its concerns, adding it would ask for a suspension of the water release if it found deviations from the original plan or if the water tested positive for excess levels of radioactivity, per CNA. The topic should be added to the agenda of annual talks between nuclear authorities in Taiwan and Japan, according to the TJRA.

Tokyo reportedly respected Taiwan’s views and had no further remarks. The TJRA said annual meetings could also discuss the results of tests conducted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The Japanese government is listening to the opinions of various departments about Taiwan’s suggestions, but it is holding an open mind, the TJRA said. Tokyo said it would inform Taipei of its decision on the matter.

Environmental groups in Taiwan on Wednesday (Sept. 6) staged a protest against Japan’s decision to release the wastewater into the ocean. They complained about a lack of transparency in the process and promised to join a worldwide protest on Sept. 14.