On his recent comments on the discharge of the contaminated water, Japan’s former environment minister and Liberal Democrat lawmaker Yoshiaki Harada said that he made the comments with a great sense of responsibility as a politician. The Japanese government responded that no decision has yet been made, but many raised concerns that it may have already decided to dispose of the waste water into the sea, stirring up controversy.
The former minister emphasized in an interview with the Dong-A Ilbo on Thursday in Tokyo that his recent comments on the release of the ALPS treated waste water were made with a heavy sense of responsibility as a parliamentary representative and politician. He first brought up the issue on Sept. 10, his last day as the environment minister, to which Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga responded that it was only his personal opinion. Rep. Harada disagreed, however, by saying that he had countless discussions with experts for a year he served as the environment minister before coming to the conclusion.
“Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) Chairman Toyoshi Fuketa confirmed several times that the release will not cause any issue from a scientific point of view, the Japanese lawmaker said, adding that he believes what Fuketa says as he is the head of the strictest regulation authority. However, asked if he has aligned his opinion with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, he said “no.” “The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will make the final decision,” he said. “If the government decides to dispose of the contaminated water into the sea, I believe it will definitely compensate for any losses incurred for local fishermen in Fukushima.”