Is seafood safe from Fukushima after treated radioactive water release? Japan PM says it’s ‘delicious’

Amrutha Pagad
Amrutha PagadAug 31, 2023 | 10:56

Is seafood safe from Fukushima after treated radioactive water release? Japan PM says it’s ‘delicious’

Japan PM eats Fukushima fish after treated radioactive water release. Photo: JPN_PMO/X

China has a new bone to pick up with Japan - the Fukushima-treated radioactive water release. Following the row over Japan's release of treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean, Japan has been at the receiving end of hate and criticism largely from Chinese citizens both online and in the real world. 

To dispel concerns about the hazards of releasing the water, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday, ate a sashimi fish from Fukushima calling it "very delicious". Kishida and three other cabinet ministers ate Fukushima fish sashimi during a meeting to show that the seafood from the area is safe for consumption after the release of treated radioactive wastewater.


It is important to show safety based on scientific evidence and resolutely disseminate (the information) in and outside of Japan.
- Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japan's Economy and Industry Minister

The China fallout

  • The Fukushima-treated radioactive water release has resulted in China banning the import of Japan's seafood. China is the largest importer of Japanese seafood. 
  • Chinese citizens on social media have been calling for the boycott of various Japanese food products. 
  • On Tuesday, the Japanese Embassy in Beijing confirmed that a brick was thrown at the building. Security has been increased in response. 
  • Moreover, reports also said that eggs were thrown at a Japanese school in China though the motive isn't known.
  • Japan has asked its citizens in China to not speak Japanese too loudly and to stay low given the increasingly hostile atmosphere. 
  • Japan also summoned the Chinese ambassador, calling on the Chinese government to urge people to act in a calm manner. 
We summoned the Chinese ambassador to Japan today and strongly urged him to call on Chinese people to act in a calm and responsible manner.
- Fumio Kishida, Japan PM
  • While concerns regarding the safety and impact of the wastewater release should be addressed, China's reactions seem more politically motivated than backed by science. 
  • The United Nations nuclear watchdog has clarified that the treated radioactive water is safe to release and has very minimal or "negligible" impact on local regions. 
  • In fact, the contamination in Fukushima release is much less compared to treated radioactive wastewater released by China or other countries. 
  • In online forums on Chinese social media, those trying to explain the science behind the release have been censored. Chinese social media is heavily controlled by the government. 

Other than China, protests have broken out in South Korea against the Fukushima water release. But the South Korean Presidential office has been indulging in seafood menu all through the week in what seems like its stance on not having problems with the scientific aspects of the release. However, South Korea doesn't necessarily support the plan either. 

Japan is releasing around 100 Olympic-sized pools of treated radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean which was accumulated following the 2011 tsunami and earthquake. The release will continue for decades to come.  

Last updated: August 31, 2023 | 10:57
    Please log in
    I agree with DailyO's privacy policy