Japanese authorities gave reassurance on Friday that the country’s plan to discharge water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant will pose no harm to the environment, or the people of Hong Kong.
Their remarks came after the SAR’s environment chief, Tse Chin-wan, said earlier in the week that the government will step up the testing of food products from Japan, adding that they might even suspend the importation of aquatic food products from specific Japanese prefectures or require them to provide a radiation level report.
Speaking at a press conference here in Hong Kong, Hideshi Michino from the Japanese Ministry of Agricultural Forestry and Fisheries questioned if the SAR government’s latest move is based on science.
“We are going to continue to explain the scientific data to the Hong Kong government – and we shall continue to make representations so any strengthening of import restrictions by the Hong Kong government will not happen,” he said.
Michino added that although Japanese authorities have no plans to change the existing food labeling arrangement, business operators are free to add in the information if they believe it can ease consumers’ concerns.
But the director for international issues at Japan’s nuclear accident response office, Yuki Tanabe, said water discharged from the Fukushima plant carries negligible radiation risk.
“The [radiological] impact could be as small as one-thousandth of the impact you would get when you receive an X-ray exam at the dentist. And this assessment has been reviewed by the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] task force,” she said.