Russia Suspends Japanese Seafood Imports Over Fukushima Wastewater Release

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News in brief: Russia has suspended Japanese seafood imports over concerns about Fukushima’s treated wastewater release into the Pacific Ocean. Japan insists the operation is safe but faces criticism and concerns from other nations.

Russia has suspended all Japanese seafood imports as a precautionary measure in response to Japan’s release of treated wastewater from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean. It is similar to the same move by China a earlier month, a news report notes.

Japan insists that the operation is safe and has been backed by the International Atomic Energy Agency. However, China has accused it of being a selfish and irresponsible cause of action, following it up by banning all Japanese seafood imports.

Japan’s plan is to release over one million cubic meters of treated wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear disaster site into the Pacific Ocean over the next few decades. It claims that the water has been treated to remove radioactive substances, but it will still contain tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, the news outlet said.

The East Asian country adds that the tritium levels in the wastewater are safe and below what is released by nuclear power plants in normal operations. However, China and other countries have expressed concerns about the potential environmental impact of the release.

Japan says it needs to release the wastewater to make room to begin removing the highly dangerous radioactive fuel and rubble from the wrecked reactors. The government has also argued that the release is necessary to restart the local economy, which has been devastated by the disaster.

The decision to release the wastewater has been met with mixed reactions in Japan. Some people support the decision, saying it is necessary to move on from the disaster while others are concerned about the potential health and environmental risks.

Russia is a much smaller market for Japanese seafood than China, but the suspension of imports is still a blow to the Japanese fishing industry. The Japanese government has promised additional aid for the sector and is seeking to boost exports to Europe and elsewhere.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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