Relations between the government in Tokyo and China are still tense over the discharge of cooling water from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear reactor into the sea. Japan summoned the Chinese ambassador and asked Beijing to ensure that its people handle the issue “calmly”.
In addition, Beijing has to ensure the safety of Japanese citizens and institutions in the neighboring country, Japanese media reported today.
And anti-Japanese sentiment is running high in China because Japan has been dumping diluted, filtered cooling water into the sea since Thursday. Among other things, there are calls for a boycott of Japanese products and cancellation of flights to Japan. Japanese businesses such as restaurants, cultural institutions and even medical facilities have been subjected to a barrage of protest calls from China for several days, severely disrupting their operations.
Japan called on Chinese citizens to be careful
The Japanese Foreign Ministry called on its citizens who wish to travel to or reside in China to exercise caution. According to the Japanese news agency Kyodo, you should not speak loudly in Japanese in public.
In March 2011, a severe earthquake and massive tsunami caused several core failures at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Since then, the destroyed reactors have had to be cooled with water, which is collected in more than 1,000 tanks – about 1.34 million tons of cooling water has now been collected there.
And China itself discharges the cooling water of the nuclear power plant into the sea
Before being discharged into the sea, the cooling water is filtered, with the exception of the radioactive isotope tritium. The operating company TEPCO therefore dilutes the water with seawater to such an extent that the tritium concentration drops to 1,500 becquerels per liter, which complies with less than forty national safety standards.
According to the Japanese government, radiation levels in the first seawater samples taken by the Environment Ministry since the discharge were below detectable limits. Despite this, China has called the waters “nuclear contaminated” and imposed a ban on the import of all fish products from Japan.
Experts note that China itself routinely discharges cooling water from its nuclear power plants into the sea, with radiation levels many times higher than in the case of the cooling water at Fukushima.
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