Japan’s prime minister, Fumio Kishida, ate fish from waters near the Fukushima nuclear plant where it is releasing nuclear waste water into the ocean to reassure people that it is safe.
In 2011, Japan experienced its strongest earthquake, triggering a tsunami that knocked out the emergency electrical supply at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and led to three nuclear meltdowns.
Since then, Japan has used tons of water to cool the damaged reactors and prevent the release of radiation.
On Tuesday Aug. 22, Japan announced it will release treated waste water – meaning it has gone through a process to remove most of the radioactivity – from its destroyed Fukushima plant starting Aug. 24, as part of a decades-long plan to decommission the plant.
Following backlash from nearby countries and environmental organizations, Kishida and three ministers filmed a lunch meeting when they ate seafood caught from places where the Fukushima waste water was discharged.
“It is important to show safety based on scientific evidence and resolutely disseminate (the information) in and outside of Japan,” Japan’s economy and industry minister, Yasutoshi Nishimura, said.
The fishing industry fears that the release of waste water will damage its reputation, affecting fishermen’s livelihoods.
China and Hong Kong have already announced they would ban Japanese seafood exports.
Meanwhile, on social media people have pointed out how American cartoon “The Simpsons” predicted Kishida eating “radioactive” fish.
Intergovernmental organizations such as the World Health Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency have also examined the treated waste water and confirmed that it complies with radiation restrictions.