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Fukushima fishermen urge govt to secure consumer trust

  • August 28, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 8:01 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Aug. 28 (Jiji Press)–Fishery workers and others in Fukushima Prefecture urged the Japanese government at an online meeting Saturday to secure consumer trust in food products from the northeastern prefecture.


The meeting was held on the planned release of treated water to the sea from Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s <9501> tsunami-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station.


At the meeting, the government explained its measures to prevent damage to local industries over the water release, including a temporary program to use state funds to purchase Fukushima fishery products if their consumption slumps.


“We’ll take necessary measures flexibly,” Kiyoshi Ejima, state minister of economy, trade and industry, said.


Tetsu Nozaki, head of the prefecture’s fishery association, expressed opposition to the release of treated water that still contains radioactive tritium.


At the same time, Nozaki urged the government to “make efforts to prevent reputational damage” if it presses ahead with the water release.


“Concerns (about the water release) are growing at home and abroad,” said Takashi Kanno, chairman of a prefectural association of agricultural cooperatives. He demanded that the government proceed carefully, with support from consumers.


Fukushima Vice Governor Masaaki Suzuki said he wants the government to release accurate information about the water release in a way that is easy to understand.


By around spring 2023, the government plans to start the release of Fukushima plant water to the sea after diluting it to reduce radiation levels below the country’s standards.


On Tuesday, the government adopted measures to prevent reputational damage to Fukushima products, also including the release, with support from international organizations, of information about the safety of the water.


Meanwhile, TEPCO said on Wednesday that it plans to release the water around 1 kilometer off the coast by setting up an undersea tunnel.

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