Japan began releasing more than 1 million tons of radioactive water from a damaged nuclear power plant on Thursday, sparking widespread concerns about contamination and safety.

polluted water, receive treatment In order to significantly reduce its radioactivity, from the Fukushima nuclear power plant—— One of the most catastrophic nuclear leaks in history.

The decision to discharge wastewater has been controversial, sparking protests in japan and further afield in Seoul, South Korea From anti-nuclear activists and people worried about pollution.

green peace slam The move was “intentional pollution” and said it was “angry” about releasing the water.

A Japanese government spokesman was not immediately available for comment when contacted by reporters. wealth.

The water is treated through a filtration process and is only contaminated with one radioactive isotope, tritium.Tritium cannot be removed, so it is diluted – Tokyo Persist Means it is safe to release.

the united nations have Supports Japan’s assessment of the situationThe group’s nuclear regulator said it was safe to release the water and that doing so would have negligible environmental health impacts.

At the same time, South Korea as largest export market For Japanese seafood, make a formal statement The public was assured on Tuesday that there were no “scientific or technical problems” with the Japanese government’s plan.

U.S. ambassador prepares to eat Fukushima fish

However, these assurances have not succeeded in influencing public opinion.

Protesters gathered in Japan and South Korea this week against the release of radioactive water, with their concerns centered on possible contamination, especially from seafood.

In an attempt to assuage lingering concerns about Japanese seafood, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel spoke at an interview On Thursday, he will publicly eat seafood from Fukushima to show his confidence in its safety.

Emanuel told Kyodo news agency that he would visit Fukushima on Aug. 31 “to show support with practical actions and then express confidence in Japan’s orderly progress”.

His visit to the city included meeting the mayor, visiting a seafood market and tasting fish caught in the region at a restaurant, according to Kyodo news agency.

Emanuel, a former Chicago mayor and former chief of staff to former U.S. President Barack Obama, said releasing the water “shows not only solidarity but safety.”

He also insisted that Japan was “on the right path” and that research into the impact of emissions was “fully transparent, scientifically based and internationally recognized”.

wealth The U.S. Embassy in Japan was contacted for comment.

A public survey in July found that 62 percent of South Koreans would reduce or stop eating seafood after draining. Reuters — despite Seoul’s pledge to closely monitor the release.

In recent weeks, some consumers in China – Japan’s largest seafood export market – also questioned Whether the country’s seafood products are safe to eat after the water is discharged into the ocean.

Thursday, beijing announced It is banning Japanese seafood products because of the water leak.

In 2022, Japan will export 634,000 tons of seafood, According to local media reports, with a market valuation of 387.3 billion yen ($2.6 billion).However, seafood only 1% The country’s global trade.

But Japan itself is one of the most developed countries in the world largest consumer of seafoodHalf of the seafood demand must be met through imports, and about 80% of seafood is produced domestically stay on its own shores.

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