PONPHEI (FSMIS) — The President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) has written to Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga expressing the concerns of his people to Japan’s decision to release 1.2 million tonnes of diluted nuclear waste water at Fukushima into the Pacific Ocean.

President David Panuelo said his government is concerned with the possible harm to the environment, and frustrated that other countries which share the Pacific Ocean were not consulted on the decision.

The President said his island nation champions environmental protection, conservation efforts, and sustainable fisheries.

FSM’s continued survival is at the forefront, said President Panuelo.

The President’s letter emphasised that the FSM recognises that the earthquake and subsequent disaster at Fukushima in 2011 was a heartbreaking tragedy for Japan and the world, and congratulated the Government of Japan for its untiring efforts to clean up and contain the dangerous nuclear waste left in its aftermath. 

“We recognise that putting the nuclear waste product in water tanks was an effective and immediate solution for an urgently evolving problem. We note, through your own assessment, that the current practice is unsustainable. As a fellow leader, I can empathise that you’re facing a difficult situation, domestically and internationally.”

“In addition to the Pacific Island Forum’s call for an independent expert review, I strongly believe it would be highly fruitful, and demonstrative of our close friendship and cooperation, for the Government of Japan to engage in a formal and multilateral dialogue with countries whose livelihoods depend greatly on the health of the Pacific Ocean.

“In the spirit of multilateralism and inclusivity, I would encourage you to consider having consultations with the Micronesian region. I believe such an engagement will be fruitful for your Government to hear, candidly and directly, our fears and concerns, so that they can be identified and then assuaged,” President Panuelo expressed in his letter….. PACNEWS

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