Pacific coalition’s open letter to leaders on Fukushima nuclear waste dumping

by CWM Communications Team

Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC) is among a coalition of concerned civil service organisations, social movements and scholars which issued an open letter urging Pacific leaders to protect the Pacific Ocean and its inhabitants from the impending release of radioactive waste from Japan’s damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The coalition was dissatisfied with the lack of progress made by Pacific states to halt the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company’s plan to dump over 1.3 million tonnes of nuclear wastewater into the Pacific Ocean. The letter emphasized that the nuclear dumping plan not only poses environmental risks to the Pacific Ocean and its biodiversity, but also contravenes international law and threatens the livelihoods and well-being of Pacific peoples, which have borne the inter-generational consequences of nuclear testing.

It called for Pacific states to oppose Japan’s dumping plans by issuing a strong collective statement of opposition through the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), failing which, economic sanctions could be applied. Also, a party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) could initiate a lawsuit against Japan at the Tribunal on the International Law of the Sea (ITLOS) to address the trans-boundary harm caused by the nuclear wastewater release.

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