Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has reiterated the planned mass disposal of wastewater stored at the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant cannot be delayed any further.
During his first visit to the facility since taking office early this month, Kishida stressed his government will further exert efforts to reassure local residents about the technical safety of the disposal project.
The Japanese government and TEPCO, the operator of the plant, have announced plans to begin releasing the water into the Pacific Ocean from the spring of 2023, a project they say will be carried out over decades.
The plan has faced fierce opposition from fishermen, local residents as well as neighboring countries like South Korea and China.
Against this backdrop, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency has vowed to hold close consultations with South Korea and other countries in regards to Tokyo's plan.
South Korea's foreign ministry said such a pledge was made during the IAEA chief's meeting with Seoul's deputy foreign minister for multilateral affairs, Ham Sang-wook.
The ministry explained that Ham expressed Seoul's concerns, calling on the UN nuclear watchdog to play a constructive role to try and resolve the issue.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.