Fiji opposes Japan's plan to discharge nuclear-contaminated wastewater into Pacific

Tanks at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant store nuclear-contaminated wastewater. (Photo: Xinhua)

SUVA, April 5 (Xinhua) -- The Fijian government reaffirms on Wednesday its opposition to Japan's plan to discharge nuclear-contaminated wastewater into the Pacific Ocean, saying that the region is not a dumping ground for countries like Japan to release its nuclear waste.

While moving a motion regarding this in parliament on Wednesday, Fiji's Deputy Prime Minister Manoa Kamikamica said that the Pacific Ocean should not be seen as an easy and convenient dumping ground for unwanted and dangerous materials and waste that other larger nations produce and do not want to use in their own ecosystem, according to local media.

"We, as the Pacific, cannot continue to be the dumping ground for the bigger nations. The social and economic impact of this irresponsible behavior is catastrophic, particularly on our vulnerable communities," he said.

If Japan's decision to discharge its treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific is so safe, why can't they use it in their own farms, in their own country, he said, adding that to do this will mean they in the Pacific will suffer.

Kamikamica acknowledged the right of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) to raise concerns and seek more consultation before a decision is made by the Japanese government.

PIF leaders also need to get access to the results of the testing and understand what they say, he added.

He stressed that for this reason, the regional position on this issue should be one of solidarity.

The PIF has urged Japan to delay its discharge of nuclear-contaminated wastewater into the Pacific Ocean, saying that the Pacific region is steadfast that there is no discharge until all parties verify it is safe.