July 4, 2023
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a comprehensive assessment report on July 4th, evaluating Japan's proposed plan to discharge nuclear wastewater into the ocean from Fukushima. The report affirms that Japan's chosen method of releasing the wastewater aligns with "international safety standards." However, DAB Legislative Council member (Election Committee) Elizabeth Quat and Steven Ho (Agriculture and Fisheries), have expressed their discontentment with this assessment.
Steven Ho specifically highlighted that the scope of the IAEA's evaluation was limited solely to Japan's plan for discharging nuclear waste into the sea, while other aspects were subject to restrictions. This raises concerns about the one-sided nature of the so-called report.
Elizabeth Quat stressed the importance of the SAR government preparing contingency plans if Japan proceeds with the discharge of nuclear waste. Immediate measures should include imposing a ban on seafood imports from the Fukushima surrounding areas and intensifying manpower and inspection efforts regarding food products from other regions of Japan. These measures are crucial to safeguard public health.
Steven Ho further urged the SAR government to develop well-defined contingency plans and establish emergency funds to assist affected industries, particularly the fishing industry, in overcoming difficulties. Efforts should be directed towards promoting the use of locally produced goods, including facilitating increased local production, and exploring alternative options from overseas.
Both Elizabeth Quat and Steven Ho firmly believe that Japan should continue seeking consensus from the international community and develop a plan that ensures minimal impact on neighboring regions. They also advocate for the involvement of additional reputable organizations to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the nuclear wastewater situation, aiming to prevent any potential global consequences.