Pacific Foreign Ministers called for “continued dialogue with both the Government of Japan and IAEA” over the release of treated wastewater from the defunct Fukushima power plant over a period of 30 to 40 years.
In a statement, the foreign ministers said the Fukushima issue should be discussed in the upcoming PALM and Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting this year.
“Re-emphasising our collective Forum position and the process we have taken over the last three years on this matter, we, as Forum Foreign Ministers, are committed to continuing the dialogue with the Government of Japan and welcome the IAEA’s proposal for an annual dialogue mechanism with the Forum on ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the release,” the statement said.
The ministers also stressed the need to build regional scientific capacity and monitoring capabilities to assess the health and well-being of the Pacific maritime ecosystem, including impacts on human health.
While some leaders in the Pacific, including Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr., supported Japan’s action, some other Pacific leaders, like Tuvalu and Niue, expressed concerns about the release of treated wastewater.