Pacific leaders address wastewater plan in Japan this week

PIFS Secretary-General Henry Puna and Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown in Japan (February 2023)

Pacific leaders are in Japan this week meeting with their Japanese counterparts on the Fukushima wastewater plans.

Pacific Islands Forum Secretary-General Henry Puna, Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown and Marshall Islands Foreign Minister Kitlang Kabua will hold discussions with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and key ministers.

“Plans by Japan to begin discharging over a million tonnes of treated Fukushima nuclear wastewater into the Pacific in 2023 are a core reason for the Forum visit. Talks may also include the Japan-Pacific Forum nations dialogue partner relationship and ongoing priorities set by Forum Leaders, particularly related to Oceans and the Blue Pacific 2050 Strategy,” said SG Puna.

“The visit is in pursuit of our joint commitment at the PALM9 to safeguard our nations against nuclear contamination. It is a demonstration of the importance that we place on Japan as a partner and I am confident that they will continue to work with the region towards a common and shared understanding of the key priorities that we have highlighted.”

“Last week, Forum Chair and Prime Minister of Fiji, Sitiveni Rabuka wrote to PM Kishida, conveying his full support as Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum for this mission, so our high-level delegation is in Japan with the full mandate and support of our membership.”

The high-level political visit takes place ahead of a mission to Tokyo and Fukushima by members of the Forum Independent scientific expert advisory group.