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Japan OKs plan to fight reputational damage over water release

Tokyo, Dec. 28 (Jiji Press)–Japan adopted an action plan Tuesday to fight reputational damage over the planned release into the ocean of treated radioactive water from the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.


The plan, drawn up at a meeting of relevant ministers, lays out measures to publicize the safety of the water further and address possible reputational damage flexibly.


Under the plan, the industry ministry and the Reconstruction Agency will work together from next month or later to start publicizing in Japan and abroad the safety of the water and conduct a consumer opinion survey on the issue within fiscal 2021 through next March.


The government will also create a fund to support temporary purchase and storage of freezable seafood in case producers are hit by reputational damage. For the fund, the government has secured 30 billion yen under its fiscal 2021 supplementary budget.


In April this year, the government announced a plan to discharge the tritium-containing treated water at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s <9501> meltdown-stricken plant in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, into the Pacific from around spring 2023.


The government in August released an interim report on how to deal with possible reputational damage. But many fishers remain strongly concerned.


Locals are also worried that the treated water will be released by TEPCO, which has had a series of scandals in its nuclear plant business.


“The action plan will be improved upon constantly,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told the meeting, promising to collect many opinions to find out what should be added to the plan.


“We’ll do our utmost to restore trust in us,” TEPCO President Tomoaki Kobayakawa said.

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