Japanese restaurants in the region are worried about the impact of Japan’s controversial plan to release treated wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean. The plan, which was announced in April 2021 and endorsed by the UN nuclear watchdog, has sparked anxiety and anger among local communities, fishing and seafood industry groups, and neighboring countries such as China and South Korea.
People expressed doubts about the safety and environmental impact of the plan, fearing that it could contaminate the ocean and marine life, and harm human health and food security. Some have accused Japan of treating the ocean as its “private sewer” and ignoring the concerns of other countries that share the Pacific waters.
Japanese restaurants, which rely heavily on seafood as a staple ingredient, are facing a potential loss of customers and revenue as a result of the plan. Some restaurant owners say they are already feeling the effects of negative publicity and consumer distrust, as people avoid buying or eating seafood from Japan or the region. Others say they are struggling to source fresh and safe seafood from other suppliers, as prices rise and availability declines.