1.87M signatures against Japan's release of radioactive water into the ocean
A South Korean civic group has received approximately 1.87 million signatures from citizens opposing the release of Japan's radioactively contaminated water into the ocean and handed them over to the president's office.

A joint action to prevent the release of Japan's radioactive water into the sea and the four opposition parties took place in front of the presidential office in Yongsan on August 18th. A press conference was held to deliver a national petition to oppose the release of contaminated water into the ocean.

Rep. Kim Sung-hwan of the Democratic Party said, "If the government and the ruling party release nuclear-contaminated water into the sea (against Japan), it will not affect the South Korean general election scheduled for next April. The Asahi Shimbun's report that they asked for the release as soon as possible is shocking," he said, adding, "I want the government to take back its duty to protect the lives and safety of the South Korean people, rather than becoming a spokesperson for Japan."

Justice Party lawmaker Kang Eun-mi said, "If the Asahi Shimbun report is true, the South Korean government goes beyond being complicit in Japan's anti-environmental marine crimes and is equivalent to the main culprit. Urging them to release them into the sea as soon as possible so as not to affect the world would be a request for the Japanese government to interfere in domestic politics."

Yoon Hee-sook, permanent leader of the Progressive Party, said, "I demand an explanation for the Asahi Shimbun report."

At a press conference, the joint action said, "Fishermen who have lived on the sea are living an even more anxious life as the time is approaching when Japan's radioactively contaminated water will be released into the ocean. Today, too, fishermen stop working because they know all too well that the release of radioactive water into the ocean will have a huge impact not only on their own lives but on the future of their children. All over the country, we are holding rallies against the release of contaminated water into the ocean."

He continued, "As can be confirmed through public opinion polls, most South Koreans oppose the release of Fukushima's contaminated water into the ocean, and nearly 2 million people are now participating in a signature campaign to dispose of radioactively contaminated water. We have made it clear that we are opposed to the release of radioactive water into the ocean." He added, "President Yoon Seo-gyeol and the government's ruling party are committed to the safety of our seas and the people until the release of radioactive water from Fukushima into the ocean is imminent. Instead of making efforts to protect Japan, we have accepted the release of radioactive water from Fukushima into the ocean as a representative of the Japanese government."

In addition, the Joint Action stated, "Officially, through working-level consultations with Japan, we have set scientific standards and publicized them as if we were actively responding to them. He urged President Yoon and the ruling party to listen to the citizens' harsh voices against the release of radioactive water into the ocean."
2023/08/24 09:53 KST