South Korea and Japan will hold another round of talks on Wednesday to discuss Seoul’s concerns over Tokyo’s decision to release contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean.
The director-general-level meeting, the fourth of its kind, will take place via videoconference, according to a foreign ministry official. The two sides will exchange views on Seoul’s requests for more information and transparency on Tokyo’s plan, as well as its potential impact on the marine environment and human health.
South Korea has strongly opposed Japan’s plan to discharge more than 1.2 million tons of radioactive water from the Fukushima plant, which was damaged by a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Seoul has urged Tokyo to halt the plan and consult with neighboring countries and the international community.
Japan has claimed that the water will be treated and diluted to meet safety standards before being released and that the process will be monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). However, South Korea and other countries have expressed doubts about the safety and environmental impact of the plan, citing the presence of radioactive substances such as tritium in the water.
The two countries have held three previous meetings on the issue since April, but have failed to narrow their differences. The latest meeting comes ahead of a possible summit between President Moon Jae-in and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Rome later this month.