S. Korea hits back at Abe on contaminated Fukushima water issue via The Korean Times

Abe’s comparison between contamination figures in Japan and Korea needs verification 

By Jung Da-min 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is inviting controversy over his reported remarks on contaminated water from Fukushima made during his recent summit with President Moon Jae-in. 

Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun reported on Dec. 29 that Abe told Moon that the amount of radioactivity in the water from the drainage of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is less than one percent of that of South Korea’s Wolseong nuclear power plant in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province. The report said Abe seemed to have cited a 2016 Japanese government report on the radioactive water at Fukushima. 


“To compare the levels of contamination in the sites of Fukushima nuclear power plant and a nuclear power plant in Korea, it should be clarified where the water samples are collected,” said Moon Joo-hyun, a professor at Dankook University’s Department of Nuclear Engineering. “Simply looking at the figures from different sampling sites could not present an exact comparison for the contamination level.” 

Choi Sung-min, a professor at KAIST’s Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering, said Seoul and Tokyo need to refrain from presenting “distorted” opinions over the issue when they lack scientific grounds or verification. 

“When dealing with the issue of radioactive substance, governments are required to approach it through exact data, refraining from creating excessive fears among the public,” Choi said, adding governments also need discretion when presenting opinions to the international community. 


Regarding the Japanese reports, Cheong Wa Dae said Moon told Abe that the Japanese government needs to share “necessary and specific” information through transparent procedures. 


Abe brought up the Fukushima radioactive water issue to ask Moon to ease Korea’s import restrictions on Japanese seafood from eight districts in the country’s northeastern region which have been affected by the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima. 

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