Japan to Map Measures over Fukushima Water Rumors by Year-End

Economy Politics

Tokyo, April 16 (Jiji Press)--Japanese cabinet ministers on Friday held the first meeting for discussions on ways to tackle possible reputational damage to fishery and other products from Fukushima Prefecture from the planned release of treated radioactive water at a disaster-crippled nuclear power station into the ocean.

The ministers also discussed a policy on the payment of compensation related to such negative rumors to affected businesses and others by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. <9501>, which owns the Fukushima No. 1 plant, damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

After compiling an interim report in summer, the ministerial forum plans to draw up an action program within this year. Tritium, a radioactive substance, is contained in the treated water because it cannot be removed from the water with current technology.

The ministerial panel is chaired by Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, while industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama serves as vice chair. The day's meeting was also joined by Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori and TEPCO President Tomoaki Kobayakawa.

Uchibori called on the government to launch measures against unfounded rumors about the safety of Fukushima foods and offer assistance to local industries, including agriculture, forestry and fishery business operators. He urged TEPCO to work "with a firm determination" on the decommissioning of the stricken power plant in the northeastern Japan prefecture and the disposal of the treated water.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press