In the late afternoon of February 2, Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio welcomed H.E. Mr. David W. Panuelo, president of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), to the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo. While the two leaders confirmed their commitment to further developing their countries’ “traditional, friendly, cooperative relationship,” they also discussed the handling of water treated by the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS-treated water) at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi site.
Prime Minister Kishida explained that the discharging of the ALPS-treated waterWater purified of radioactive substances other than tritium to levels below the regulatory standards would be conducted with firm assurances of no harm to the environment or human health, and reassured President Panuelo that Japan would continue its efforts in a transparent manner in accordance with domestic and international safety-standard reviews in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
President Panuelo expressed his gratitude for the transparency of substantive briefings by the resident Ambassador of Japan. He then acknowledged that the FSM is no longer as fearful or concerned as it had stated at the United Nations General Assembly, and that such transparent briefings and discussions have substantially increased the FSM’s trust in Japan’s intentions and Japan’s technological capabilities to “not harm our shared oceanic assets and resources.” He thus highly praised Japan’s efforts to facilitate understanding on the ALPS-treated water among the people of the FSM.
At the 9th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM9), held by videoconference on July 2, 2021, and attended by leaders of Japan and 18 Oceanic countries and regions, then-Prime Minister SUGA Yoshihide explained that the discharge of the ALPS-treated water would be conducted in compliance with regulatory requirements and international standards, and that Japan would continue to provide explanations based on scientific evidence in close cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
As a recent example, ALPS-treated water was discussed at a summit meeting in September 2022 between Japan and the Pacific island nation of the Republic of Palau. That country’s President Surangel S. Whipps, Jr. welcomed Japan’s intention to continue close dialogue and the explanations provided by Prime Minister Kishida.
On January 13, a meeting of relevant Japanese Cabinet ministers indicated that the actual release of water was expected to start sometime in the coming spring or summer. The government continues to strategically disseminate information in cooperation with related ministries and agencies to the international community on the characterization and source term of the water, and its safety.
The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) staged a videoconference briefing on January 30 for diplomatic missions and others in Tokyo regarding the handling of the ALPS-treated water.
At the end of last year, the Ministry, entering into a partnership with euronews (a European television news network, headquartered in France), also produced a short explanatory program incorporating interviews with experts and specialists, as well as with people in Fukushima. It is being broadcast around the world in multiple languages, including German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Persian and Arabic.
|↑1||Water purified of radioactive substances other than tritium to levels below the regulatory standards|