Fishermen React To Ex - Minister's Water Dump Idea

Fishermen react to ex-minister's water dump idea

A fishermen's group in Japan has demanded that the former environment minster withdraw his remarks on releasing wastewater kept at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the ocean.

The national federation of fisheries cooperatives, known as JF Zengyoren, held a news conference on Wednesday.

It came a day after then Environment Minister Yoshiaki Harada said he thinks the only way to stop the buildup of wastewater at the plant is to release it into the sea.

About 170 tons of wastewater containing radioactive tritium is building up at the plant each day. Wastewater from the damaged reactor buildings is cleared of most other radioactive substances.

At Wednesday' news conference, federation chairman Hiroshi Kishi revealed that the group submitted a letter demanding that the minister withdraw his remarks.

Kishi said the remarks would increase the anxiety of fishermen still waiting to resume full-fledged operations. Kishi also said the remarks would fuel negative rumors at home and abroad that would cause more damage to the industry.

Kishi said the former minister should not be allowed to make such remarks, even if they are his personal view.

A government panel of experts is discussing how to dispose of the wastewater.

The federation has called on the panel to consider the option of keeping it in tanks at the plant for years ahead.