Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, alongside three Cabinet ministers ate sashimi prepared with fish caught off the Fukushima coast after the release of treated radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear plant. This is part of an effort to show that fish is safe to eat.
The ministers had sashimi of flounder, octopus, and sea bass, along with vegetables and rice, according to a report by the Associated Press.
The release of the treated wastewater began Thursday, and the process is expected to take at least 30 years. People from Japan, South Korea and China joined rallies to condemn the discharge.
In South Korea, President Yoon Suk Yeol also ate Korean fish. The demands of fish in Korea have fallen due to concern about the impact of the radioactive waters from the Fukushima plant.
China decided to immediately ban all imports of Japanese seafood, but some believe this is a political move, as the fish is, theoretically, safe to eat.
Wastewaters from Fukushima have been treated and Japan was able to remove all radioactive elements from the water, except tritium, which is an isotope of hydrogen, because there is no technology to do it.
Experts and scientists around the world have said that the release is safe, and that Tritium can be found in water all over the world.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have measured samples of water and found a radioactivity concentration was “far below the operational limit of 1,500 becquerels per liter (Bq/L)”, a measure for radioactivity. The World Health Organization has a larger limit for drinking water, which is 10,000 Bq/L.
Though the scientific community agrees that the water is safe, there are still no studies that can be able to predict the impact that the wastewater will have in the future on aquatic life.