The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) has indicated it will leave communications with Japan open it lobbies against the dumping of radioactive material into the Pacific Ocean.
Meanwhile, Japan has said it will not go ahead with its intentions to dump radioactive material into the Pacific Ocean without scientific data that prove that the radioactive material will not harm the health of the ocean.
This is after strong objections from member countries, regional organisations and from the Pacific Islands Forum was highlighted and also cemented by the recent visit by the Secretary-General Henry Puna and PIF Chair Mark Brown to Japan, earlier this month.
Outgoing Chair and Fiji’s Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka said that a political agreement has been reached and that Japan will not go ahead until PIF and Japan comes to an agreement after scientific and technical research is done on the radioactive water material.
Also, PNG Prime Minister James Marape in a press conference last week had shared similar sentiments and said that there is a process under the International Atomic Energy Agency Guidelines that in the case Japan released water in a normal case of operations, it will not damage or harm the health of the ocean.
Marape said Japan’s PM Fumio Kishida had reassured him that it will not go ahead with its intention until proper scientific research is conducted before released the waste water into the Pacific Ocean.
Also, the Pacific Islands Forum had engaged a panel of scientists to provide research materials in the issue and that the discharge will not harm marine life.
However, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) which owns the power station says it is running out of space to store the water on land.
Radioactivity levels in the discharged water will be too low to pose a risk to marine life or human, which TEPCO says, its plans, has the blessing of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
IAEA Nuclear Safety official Gustavo Caruso, who heads a special agency task force on Fukushima, said Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority has procedures in place to ensure the discharge meets international safety standard.