This editorial in the Japan Times is yet another reminder that a plan to dispose nuclear waste water into the Pacific Ocean demands international scrutiny.
The IAEA and the United States have expressed support for the release plan. But even at this late date, no clear technical plan or environmental impact study has been made public, and the proposal has been developed without any significant consultation with neighboring countries, the international community or even stakeholders in Japan.
Because of this, several nations, notably South Korea and China, have expressed their opposition. The Japanese fishing industry, which fears that the global market for all Japanese seafood products, not just those from Fukushima, will suffer irreparable harm, has also expressed firm opposition. The discharge proposal should be considered a transnational release of radioactive material, and existing IAEA agreements, among others, stipulate that concerned nations and other stakeholders should be consulted in such cases.