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Seoul raises concerns over Fukushima's contaminated water in London

South Korea's fishery ministry said Monday it raised concerns over Japan's plan to release contaminated water from its disabled Fukushima power plant into the sea at an international maritime gathering held in London last week.

During a London Convention and Protocol meeting held last week at the headquarters of the Britain-based International Maritime Organization, South Korea urged Japan to make efforts to win consensus from neighboring countries on handling the water, according to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.

"We emphasized that Japan should take a different approach on handling the water compared to other normal situations considering the gravity of the Fukushima disaster," an official from the ministry said, claiming the water should not be released to the ocean without discussions.


The move came amid concerns that Japan may release contaminated water from the power plant, which was devastated by a tsunami triggered by an earthquake in March 2011. An estimated 1.1 million tons of tainted water is in temporary storage at the Fukushima plant.

Japan, meanwhile, claimed that the issue should not be discussed at the London meeting, adding that it has not yet made a decision on handling the contaminated water, according to the ministry. Related information will be provided to the international community transparently, it added.

South Korea's science ministry also raised the issue at the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency last month. At the gathering, Japan claimed that Seoul's concerns were not based on scientific evidence.

Since the 2011 Fukushima disaster, South Korea has been expressing concerns over the possible negative effects on the country.

In April, the World Trade Organization ruled in favor of Seoul's import restrictions on Japanese seafood. Since 2013, South Korea has banned all seafood imports from eight Japanese prefectures, including Fukushima. (Yonhap)