Regarding Japan’s Plans to Deposit Contaminated Water from Fukushima into the Ocean, President Panuelo Submits FSM’s Opposition, & Encourages Japan to Consider Hosting a Formal, Multilateral Dialogue with the Pacific

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Regarding Japan’s Plans to Deposit Contaminated Water from Fukushima into the Ocean, President Panuelo Submits FSM’s Opposition, & Encourages Japan to Consider Hosting a Formal, Multilateral Dialogue with the Pacific

 

PALIKIR, Pohnpei—On April 26th, 2021, His Excellency David W. Panuelo—President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)—wrote a letter to the Honorable Yoshihide Suga, Prime Minister of Japan. Transmitted to Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on April 27th, 2021, the letter was with regards to the Nation’s increasing concerns arising from the Government of Japan’s decision to solve the enduring problem of nuclear waste at Fukushima by releasing, in two years’ time, 1.2 million tons of diluted—but nonetheless contaminated—water into the Pacific Ocean.

 

President Panuelo noted that the FSM National Government is concerned over possible harm to the environment, and frustrated that other countries which share the Pacific Ocean were not consulted on the decision. The President wrote that, of all the reasons the FSM champions environmental protection, conservation efforts, and sustainable fisheries, the Nation’s continued survival is at the forefront.

 

The President’s letter emphasized that the FSM recognizes that the earthquake and subsequent disaster at Fukushima in 2011 was a heartbreaking tragedy for Japan and the World, and congratulated the Government of Japan for its untiring efforts to clean up and contain the dangerous nuclear waste left in its aftermath. “We recognize that putting the nuclear waste product in water tanks was an effective and immediate solution for an urgently evolving problem,” President Panuelo wrote, “And we note, through your own assessment, that the current practice is unsustainable. …As a fellow leader, I can empathize that you’re facing a difficult situation, domestically and internationally.”

 

“In addition to the Pacific Island Forum’s call for an independent expert review,” President Panuelo continued, “I strongly believe it would be highly fruitful, and demonstrative of our close friendship and cooperation, for the Government of Japan to engage in a formal and multilateral dialogue with countries whose livelihoods depend greatly on the health of the Pacific Ocean. In the spirit of multilateralism and inclusivity, I would encourage you to consider having consultations with the Micronesian region. …I believe [such an engagement] will be fruitful for your Government to hear, candidly and directly, our fears and concerns, so that they can be identified and then assuaged.”

 

President Panuelo concluded his letter by re-emphasizing that the People and Government of the FSM cherish our Kizuna, or special bond, with the People and Government of Japan.

 

Citizens interested in reading the President’s letter to Prime Minister Suga may find it here: https://gov.fm/files/DFA-KAE-110-21_cleared_for_dissemination.pdf


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