Protesters call on Labor to protest Fukushima nuclear waste dumping

September 18, 2023
Photo: Sung Joo Han

Protesters took a stand against the dumping of Fukushima’s nuclear waste into the Pacific Ocean on September 16. The action was organised by the Sydney Candlelight Action (SCA), based in the Korean community, and was part of a global day of action.

Speakers from the Korean community and other groups condemned the Japanese government and called for international pressure to stop further dangerous radioactive contamination.

Vivian Pak from the Candleight Alliance called on Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and environment minister Tanya Plibersek to oppose Japan’s decision.

She also condemned the South Korean government for “not only assisting Japan over the dumping of the nuclear contaminated water but also actively encouraging the ultra right-wing government of Japan to increase its military presence in the region”.

Peter Boyle from Socialist Alliance condemned Labor for endorsing the dumping of the Fukushima nuclear waste as “safe”.

The Australian Embassy in Tokyo even staged a “Fukushima fish and chips” dinner as a public relations stunt in support of the nuclear wastewater release.

Boyle said the Australian government was a “bad Pacific neighbour” because it is undermining a nuclear-free Pacific by supporting the dumping of nuclear waste, dumping nuclear waste on Aboriginal land and entering the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal.

Katti Jisuk Seo, a Korean-German who now lives in Gadi, said while enjoying her first scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef the news about the toxic waste came through.

“Japan is sending its radioactive waste on a trip around the world,” she said.

“Japan plans to release 1.3 million tons of radioactive contaminated wastewater into the ocean over the next decades: that’s enough to fill at least 500 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

“From the Pacific it will reach beaches and seas globally, entering fish, marine plants, other sea creatures and mammals throughout the marine food chain. Via evaporation, through rainfall, it will find its way back onto the lands across our planet.”

David Rho, the rally MC, called on the Japanese government to “accept an independent assessment of the Fukushima wastewater, and to release the true test result”. He said AUKUS represented further nuclear escalation in the region and must be opposed.

[For more information email the Sydney Candlelight Alliance.]



Photo: Peter Boyle


Photo: Sung Joo Han


Photo: Peter Boyle

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