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Koizumi ready to meet Osaka mayor over Fukushima N-plant water

  • September 17, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 10:07 p.m.
  • English Press

Iwaki, Fukushima Pref., Sept. 17 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi on Tuesday left open the possibility of meeting with Ichiro Matsui, mayor of the western Japan city of Osaka, who suggested that he may approve dumping treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant into Osaka Bay.

Matsui said earlier in the day that he could allow the water to be disposed in the bay if there is scientific proof that the water from the Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. <9501> plant is harmless.

The water at the plant in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, is processed through equipment to remove radioactive materials, but tritium, one of such substances, remains in it after the treatment.

“If there is an opportunity to meet (Matsui), I’d like to hear his thoughts,” Koizumi told reporters in the city of Iwaki in Fukushima.

His predecessor, Yoshiaki Harada, said earlier this month that there is no alternative but to release the tainted water into the ocean and dilute it.

Last Thursday, a day after he assumed the ministerial post in a cabinet reshuffle, Koizumi told reporters that Harada’s remark was “terribly inexcusable to the hurt residents of the prefecture.”

On Thursday, Koizumi visited Iwaki, as well as the towns of Naraha, Tomioka and Okuma in Fukushima, which were affected by the triple meltdown that struck the nuclear power plant after a powerful earthquake and tsunami hit Fukushima and nearby areas in March 2011.

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