China is seriously concerned about and firmly opposes Japan's unilateral decision to discharge the nuclear-contaminated water into the sea and its proceeding with the preparatory work, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Wednesday.
Zhao Lijian made the remarks when asked to comment on a media report that Tokyo Electric Power Company has submitted an application to Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority with a detailed plan of discharging nuclear-contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea.
Since April this year, the international community has raised concerns to the Japanese side over the legitimacy of the discharge into the sea, the rationality of the discharge plan, the credibility of the data about the nuclear contaminated water and the reliability of the equipment to purify the nuclear-contaminated water, Zhao said.
The work of the IAEA technical working group on the handling of the nuclear-contaminated water from Fukushima is still undergoing, he added.
"In total disregard of the legitimate and reasonable concerns of the international community, the Japanese side only continues to proceed with the preparations for the discharge both policy-wise and technology-wise," Zhao said.
"Obviously, it wants to impose its wrong decision on the entire international community, and it is all the littoral countries of the Pacific Ocean that will have to take the risk for such move. The Japanese side is extremely irresponsible in doing so."
He said that over the past eight months, Japan has constantly tried to defend the decision to discharge the nuclear-contaminated water into the sea, claiming the discharge is safe.
"However, many countries and international environment groups have questioned that if the water is truly harmless, why doesn't the Japanese side discharge it into lakes or use it for civil purposes instead of releasing it into the ocean? To say the least, why doesn't it try to build more storage tanks for the water at home? How can the international community trust Japan's own words regarding whether the water to be discharged is safe or not? The Japanese side should give responsible answers to all these fundamental questions," Zhao said.
He stressed that the handling of the nuclear-contaminated water from Fukushima is never Japan's private matter. Instead, it bears on the marine environment and public health of the whole world.
Japan should heed and respond to the appeals of neighboring countries and the international community, and rescind the wrong decision of dumping the water into the sea.
"It mustn't wantonly start the ocean discharge before reaching consensus with stakeholders and relevant international institutions through full consultations," Zhao said.