Seoul asks Japan to make clear answer about contaminated water in Fukukshima

Lim Chang-won Reporter() | Posted : August 19, 2019, 17:01 | Updated : August 19, 2019, 17:01

[AP/Yonhap News Photo]

SEOUL -- South Korea's foreign ministry called in a Japanese diplomat to ask for Tokyo's official position on the possible discharge of contaminated water stored in the Fukushima nuclear plant hit by a meltdown in 2011 amid growing concerns about its limited storage space.

The foreign ministry said Monday that Kwon Se-jung, director-general in charge of climate change and environmental affairs, delivered a diplomatic document through Tomofumi Nishinaga, a minister for economic affairs from the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, expressing concerns about radioactive contamination if Tokyo discharges toxic water from the Fukushima power plant.

Seoul asked for an official explanation to see if Tokyo considers discharging contaminated water into the sea, the ministry said. South Korea wants Japan to store the water for a long period. Environmental groups led by Greenpeace have opposed the discharge of radioactive water stored in tanks in Fukushima.

South Korea has banned imports of marine products caught near Fukushima, reflecting lingering safety jitters. The ban has affected negotiations on revising a fisheries agreement between Seoul and Tokyo. Under a bilateral fisheries agreement that took effect in 1999, South Korea and Japan have set annual fishing quotas in each other's exclusive economic zones (EEZ).

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