‘What Goes Around Comes Around’: Chinese Media Mock Japan Over US Release of Toxic Water in Okinawa

Asia & Pacific

In April, Japan’s neighbours expressed outrage over Tokyo’s plans to release 1.23 million tonnes of contaminated wastewater from a storage facility at destroyed Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific Ocean. Japanese authorities have insisted that the wastewater is safe, but environmental groups have contested such claims.

China Global Television Network (CGTN), a Beijing-based English-language TV news service, has poked fun at Japanese authorities over the apparent hypocrisy shown by Tokyo when it comes to the dumping of hazardous wastewater.

In recent weeks, Japanese media, government officials and environmental activists have been up in arms over plans by US forces in Okinawa to dump potentially dangerous chemicals into the local sewage system.

The US military insisted that the wastewater was treated to Japanese government standards and safe to drink, and began dumping it into the local sewage system on 26 August. The water was known to contain trace concentrations of organofluorine compounds, including perfluorooctanesulfonic acid and perfluorooctanoic acid. Scientific studies have indicated that these chemicals can affect the health of wildlife, with the potential to cause reduced immunoglobulin levels and brain asymmetry in offspring, and to result in increased risk of chronic kidney disease and other ailments among humans. The chemicals’ resistance to natural break-up and…

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