Japan notified South Korea on Tuesday that it has not made any specific decision yet on how to dispose of contaminated water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, Seoul officials said.
Tomofumi Nishinaga, an economic minister from the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, delivered a diplomatic note in response to South Korea's request last Monday to clarify its disposal plans and verify speculation that it could discharge the radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean, they said.
"The Japanese side explained that at this point in time, there is not any specific conclusion on how to dispose of the contaminated water, while stressing that it is taking steps based on scientific grounds with (a sense of) responsibility," Seoul's foreign ministry said in a press release.
Japan plans to hold a briefing for foreign diplomats based in Japan regarding its handling of the radioactive water on Sept. 4, the ministry added, citing the diplomatic note.
Seoul reiterated that the contaminated water issue should be handled in a way that does not affect the health of the citizens of both countries and the marine environment in the vicinity of the nuclear plant.
It also renewed calls for Japan to continue to provide "transparent and concrete" explanations on how it deals with the water.
Japan is reportedly exploring various options to dispose of the water contaminated due to the 2011 meltdown, including evaporating it and putting it deep underground. But discharging the treated water into the Pacific Ocean is seen as the cheapest and quickest disposal method.
Environmental groups and activists, such as Greenpeace, have opposed the discharge of the water containing radioactive tritium.
In a January report, Greenpeace said that a Japanese government task force proposed the discharge plan and ignored alternative options that would avoid further contamination of the ocean. (Yonhap)