Pacific to elevate talks with Japan on nuke waste water discharge

Inspectors at the site of the Fukushima power plant. File photo

Forum Chair and Cook Islands Prime Minister says the Forum will elevate talks with Japan in regards to its nuclear waste water discharge into the Pacific Ocean.

The decision was taken at the one-day Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting (FFMM) that was concluded in Fiji Friday.

“Firstly, the foreign ministers have agreed on issuing a statement in regards to the Fukushima discharge of water. We’ve issued a collective statement on that matter, the statement acknowledges the Forum leader’s positions on this issue to date.

“It reaffirms our role as the custodians of the Pacific Ocean, and it calls for elevated dialogue on Government of Japan and IAEA on the impact of the ongoing release, in an ongoing, accountable and transparent manner.

“And finally, the statement acknowledges the need for our region to build scientific capacity and monitoring capabilities to assess the health and well being of our Pacific maritime ecosystems, Brown told Journalists in Suva Friday.

Brown said every Pacific nations expressed concerns when Japan first plan to dump the treated nuclear waste water into the Pacific Ocean.

“All of our countries have expressed concern about the proposal by Japan at some stage or another particularly when it was first proposed on this project. Overtime those concerns have been taken to the Government of Japan by myself personally as chair of the Forum.

“And the mechanisms was agreed to whereby Japan demonstrate and provide assurance that what it will do is not going to harm the ocean so from the outcomes of that first initial engagement with Japanese government earlier this year.

“There was an agreement for more intense dialogue between the scientific panels of PIFS and also the scientists from Japan. The request was also to engaged IAEA scientists proposal by Japan, that report was received by member countries. Just recently a few weeks ago.

And this was discussed by Troika in last month’s meeting that Troika position at the time was every country is entitled to read this report, make up its own mind on what position they take on Japan discharge.

“The position of each country as sovereign independence that should be respected,” said Brown More than a million tonnes of water stored at the Fukushima nuclear plant will be discharged over the next 30 years.