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Japan PM Kishida to meet fishery group head over Fukushima water release plan – World News Network

Tokyo [Japan], July 16 (ANI): Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is about to meet the Head of the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives Masanobu Sakamotom possibly in late July to pitch the government’s plan of releasing treated radioactive water from the disaster-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant, a government source said on Saturday, reported Kyodo News Agency. 
The meeting will include the series of steps the government is taking to determine when to begin releasing the water into the Pacific Ocean.
So far, the government has only committed to doing it sometime “around the summer,” as concerns linger among fishermen about the potentially adverse impact the discharge could have on their businesses, according to Kyodo News Agency. 
Sakamoto, also known as JF Zengyoren, has maintained his group’s opposition to the water discharge and has deemed it an essential step in ongoing cleanup efforts at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, which was hit by a massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami in 2011.
However, after meeting with Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura on Friday, Sakamoto said he could “acknowledge to some extent the scientific safety” of the plan.
The Japanese government is preparing to discharge the water after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a comprehensive report in early July which said the plan is “consistent” with international safety standards and assessed the discharge will have a “negligible radiological impact on people and the environment.”
Further, Kishida is likely to have come to the conclusion that direct talks with Sakamoto could serve as a chance to extract some concessions from him, reported Kyodo News Agency. 
The Japanese government as well as the Operator of the Fukushima Plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc, are planning to release the water into the Pacific Ocean around the summer after it undergoes processing to remove most of the radionuclides except tritium.
However, the government and plant operator made a promise in 2015 to Fukushima’s fishermen that they would not release the treated water without the “understanding” of all stakeholders.
Moreover, Kishida is likely to tell Sakamoto that the government will take measures to ensure that the plan is safe, and to address rumours about the safety of fishery products. 
According to Kyodo News Agency, he is also likely to emphasize that the United States and South Korean governments are not against the plan.
The meeting will take place after Wednesday following the return of PM Kishida from his Middle East trip. 
There has been speculation that the water discharge procedures could begin in August, as Kishida has a busy diplomatic schedule in the following month, Kyodo News Agency reported. 
The water was treated at a processing facility to remove most of the contaminants, except tritium, and stored in tanks installed on the premises. But the tanks have nearing capacity and it is feared the continuing buildup of water could hamper the reactor decommissioning progress unless it is dumped into the sea. (ANI) 


Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from a syndicated feed of ANI; only the image & headline may have been reworked by News Services Division of World News Network Inc Ltd and Palghar News and Pune News and World News


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