Members of an environmental activist group, the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement, stage a rally in Seoul on Oct. 26, 2020, to call on the Japanese government to retract its plan to release water containing radioactive materials stored at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. The plant has been crippled since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. (Yonhap)
The head of South Korea's National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives on Thursday demanded that Tokyo withdraw its plan to discharge radioactive water from its crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.
Im Joon-taek, chairman of the federation, also known as Suhyup, met with Masato Nagai, a councilor from the Japanese embassy, at the organization's headquarters in eastern Seoul and expressed his opposition to Tokyo's plan to release the contaminated water, according to Suhyup.
According to Suhyup, the meeting was arranged at the request of the Japanese embassy.
Nagai reportedly told Im that Japan's processing and handling of the radioactive water was deemed scientifically safe and asked for understanding from the South Korean fishing industry.
During the meeting, Im warned that Suyup will take strong action if Tokyo does end up releasing the water, by uniting with members of the International Cooperative Fisheries Organisation under the International Cooperative Alliance.
Im also said the decision on handling of the Fukushima water should not be made unilaterally by the Japanese government but should undergo a process of sufficient scientific verification from the international community.
The councilor reportedly responded by saying that Tokyo "will communicate with neighboring nations."
Amid public concern over Japan's handling of the radioactive water, Seoul has repeatedly called for Tokyo to transparently share related information and stressed its "foremost priority" on the safety of citizens.
Last month, Tokyo was expected to finalize its plan to dispose of the tritium-laced water. But it apparently postponed an announcement on its decision amid strong protests. (Yonhap)