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Lawsuit shows Japanese oppose toxic water dumping

CHINA MEDIA GROUP | Updated: 2023-09-11 07:47

A protester in Tokyo holds a banner that reads in Japanese, "Don't throw contaminated water into the sea", during an Aug 25 rally against Japan's discharging of the nuclear wastewater. [Photo/Agencies]

About 150 Japanese fishers filed a lawsuit in the Fukushima District Court on Friday, seeking a court order halting the discharge of the radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant, because it was threatening their livelihoods by contaminating the marine ecosystem. The defendants in the case are the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company.

This marks the first legal action in Japan against the dumping of the nuclear-contaminated water into the sea. It comes after a civic group wrote to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, demanding that he stop the water discharge.

The lawsuit reflects the deep concerns of Japanese society over the consequences to be caused by the move.

Paradoxically, the Japanese government, which is a defendant in the case, earlier acted as "plaintiff" and filed a complaint against China with the World Trade Organization, seeking the withdrawal of the import restrictions China had imposed on Japanese aquatic products.

But according to the Food Safety Law of China, imports of food products should be suspended or stopped if there is evidence to show they may harm human health. And according to WTO rules, member countries have the right to take necessary measures to protect human, animal and plant life and health.

The suspension of seafood imports from Japan is justified no matter what Japan does to prove it otherwise. Japan has been trying to portray itself as a "victim" by filing the complaint against China. A few days ago, the Japanese government, apart from providing an 80 billion yen ($54 million) special fisheries subsidy fund, allocated an additional 20.7 billion yen for "dealing with China", blaming China for the losses of Japanese seafood exporters.

But the Japanese government and TEPCO are the real culprits. And the Japanese people have demonstrated that by filing the lawsuit in the Fukushima court.


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