Advertisement

South Korea may participate in Fukushima wastewater probe

Japanese and South Korean diplomats are changing their approach to the wastewater disposal plan in Fukushima, according to South Korean press reports. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI
Japanese and South Korean diplomats are changing their approach to the wastewater disposal plan in Fukushima, according to South Korean press reports. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

April 19 (UPI) -- Japan's top diplomatic envoy to South Korea said Seoul could participate in an International Atomic Energy Agency-led investigation into the treated radioactive water at Fukushima, after Seoul voiced concerns about the disposal of the wastewater.

The Japanese ambassador to Seoul, Koichi Aiboshi, reportedly said Monday that Japan is open to South Korean involvement into an international inspection in Fukushima. South Korean participation is "an issue for the IAEA and the Japanese government to discuss," Aiboshi said, according to South Korean news service News 1.

Advertisement

The Japanese diplomat also said Tokyo will practice transparency regarding the wastewater disposal.

"We will try to alleviate the concerns of the South Korean public through information disclosure, grounded in science," Aiboshi said.

RELATED North Korea decries Japan's decision on Fukushima water release

A report of the ambassador's remarks comes a day after U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry said in Seoul on Sunday that Washington expects coordination between Japan and the U.N. agency.

"The United States is confident that the government of Japan has had full consultation with IAEA, that IAEA has set up a very rigorous process," Kerry said, according to Yonhap. "What is key is Japan's continued coordination with IAEA as it monitors the process."

South Korea and Japan have wrangled for years over Japanese plans to dispose the water from the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. Japan confirmed this month the wastewater disposal is to begin in about two years.

RELATED Russia, Taiwan join growing chorus of disapproval over Fukushima water release

South Korean attitudes about Fukushima are changing after the Kerry visit.

Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong said Monday the administration of President Moon Jae-in is not necessarily against the Japanese plan, local network JTBC reported.

"In [South Korea's view], if the [Japanese] procedure meets IAEA standards, there is no reason to be in objection," Chung said during a parliamentary session.

RELATED Japan decides to release Fukushima wastewater into ocean

Chung also said sufficient disclosure of scientific information, consultation with Seoul and the involvement of South Korean experts in the IAEA verification process are conditions for Seoul's consent, according to JTBC.

Latest Headlines