Radioactive marine pollution from Japan

Japan and its desire to release contaminated water from Fukushima into the Deep Blue Pacific Ocean Continent 

The Government of Japan plans to release over a million tons of radioactive contaminated water beginning sometime over the next year or two. At issue is the contaminated water that was produced from the 2011 earthquake that generated tsunamis shortly afterwards, damaging the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Contaminated water was produced from this extreme weather event, and what was collected is currently being stored onsite at Fukushima. 

The onsite storage capacity for contaminated water has already run out and the nuclear power plant will be decommissioned. 

The decision by the Japanese government to move forward on planning to release contaminated water into the ocean soon should be of highest concern to our Pacific Islander civilization, the South Koreans, the Chinese, and all who depend on the sea for food and a healthy planet. 

Japan plans to remove several contaminants from the water through filtration processes and seeks proper governmental approvals to do so. It remains unclear just how dirty or how clean the water will be when dumped into the ocean. Japan says it will gradually release the contaminated water into the ocean over decades. No one really knows how this plan will be executed. 

Communities near Fukushima do not approve of the idea of dumping contaminated water into the ocean. Some want to see more evidence of how the dumping will be safe. Pacific Islander communities such as the Fijians have expressed their concerns about this dumping. Other nations are worried about human health, fish stock health, and overall environmental health. China is vehemently opposed to the plan. 

Thousands of former Fukushima residents have permanently relocated from this prefecture and will never return. Many fear radiation exposure. Thousands of Japanese citizens are needed to help with the cleanup over the next several decades because, in addition to the contaminated water problem, nuclear waste and fuel rods need to be removed in the immediate area. 

Why the Chamorro people of the Marianas Islands need to weigh in

The total risk profile for Pacific Islander civilizations will continue to grow should this water be released into the Pacific Ocean. 

Climate change has and continues to literally threaten the livelihood of our Deep Blue Ocean civilization as sea levels continue to rise, extreme weather patterns set new normals, and our region of the world continues to become more and more militarized by the United States, Japan, China, Australia, and South Korea. 

The release over time of over one million tons of contaminated water by Japan does not provide comfort, certainty, or goodwill with Pacific Islanders. 

Perhaps the one thing in common that the Mariana Islands have with the Communist Party of China is this: both parties do not want to have more radioactive contaminants dumped into the Pacific Ocean. Outside of the Japanese government, few if any countries support the idea of dumping radioactive poisons into the sea. 

Japan remains without a comprehensive regional plan to ensure that dumped water is not dangerous to marine ecosystems and human health. 

What our Marianas civilization can do

Question the government of Japan. Ask what constitutes “safe” environmental contaminated water discharges. 

What other poisons are contained in the water that is reportedly safe to dump? 

What about levels of carbon-14 in the water? 

Let’s remember that close to 200,000 people in Japan were permanently displaced from their homes from the earthquake and ensuing tsunami that brought about so much damage to Fukushima. Close to 20,000 disappeared immediately following the earthquake and tsunami. 

Mother Nature must be respected, and, in this case, it must be respected by Japan, which should not dump contaminated water into the open ocean. The United Nations argues that there are no documented cases of human sickness or death directly linked to the 2011 nuclear reactor accident. No one really seems to know precisely how dangerous this proposal will be, but using commonsense, this Japanese government proposal should be canned for now. 

Various Pacific Island nations, including our American administered Mariana Islands, should register formal concerns with Japan’s plan to poison the ocean. It is never too soon to act.  

Rick Arriola Perez | Author
Rick Arriola Perez is a U.S. military veteran who has worked for the U.S. Department of Defense, the Bank of Hawaii, and the government of Guam. He holds several degrees including ones from UCLA and the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I. Rick is passionate about national security and foreign affairs in the Pacific Asia region and runs a blogsite called Guam Affairs at guamaffairs.substack.com. For more information, contact Perez at rickp7839@gmail.com.

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