China Urges UN to Assess Japan’s ‘Illegal’ Wastewater Plans

China says the United Nations and other international bodies should talk over Japan’s decision to dump wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean, further ramping up its criticism of Tokyo’s plans.

“Japan is obliged to hold a full consultation with all stakeholders, especially neighboring countries,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular press briefing Wednesday in Beijing. “The matter also needs to be assessed and discussed within the UN, the World Health Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency.”

Wang also described Japan’s plans as “illegal, irresponsible and amoral.”

South Korea and Taiwan have also been critical of the decision that Japan announced last week to release the treated liquid into the Pacific Ocean starting in about two years. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman earlier dared Japanese officials to drink the wastewater to prove it is safe.

The U.S. has said the decision seemed to be in line with global standards, while the head of the IAEA said it would help ensure the process is carried out “without an adverse impact on human health and the environment.”

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has said that releasing the wastewater “is an unavoidable issue” before the Fukushima plant can be shuttered. Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato welcomed a scientific review of the move by the IAEA.

The decision follows years of debate over how to get rid of the water that has been leaking into the reactors since they suffered core meltdowns after an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. There’s enough to fill more than 500 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.