Japan’s plans to discharge treated Fukushima nuclear wastewater into the Pacific Ocean was the focus of discussions between Pacific Islands Forum Secretary-General, Henry Puna and Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Yoshimasa Hayashi in Fiji last weekend.
Puna emphasised the need to work together in an open and transparent manner, including amongst experts, to ensure no harm to the ocean, environment, and health of peoples is caused by the Fukushima discharge.
Puna further stressed the paramount need for access to all data and evidence underpinning Japan’s decision and requested to defer the commencement of discharge until the PIF Independent Panel of Experts can provide Forum Leaders with the necessary advice based on access to all data and information. Japan assured it will not discharge the Fukushima nuclear wastewater if it is not safe to do so.
The meeting also covered updates on the Tokyo-based Japan Pacific Islands Centre, established in 1996 between the Forum and Japan to strengthen mutual trade and investment opportunities within the Pacific.
“As the Centre marks more than 25 years, the meeting with Minister Hayashi was a chance to envision its role for the next 25 years and ensure a strengthened role for Pacific Island countries in the governance of the Centre,” Puna said.