TOKYO: Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, at a press conference Thursday, declined to comment on whether treated water kept in huge tanks at the disaster-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is drinkable, as suggested by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso.
Kato said Aso referred to the government’s plan to lower the level of radioactive tritium in the treated water to around one-seventh of the maximum drinkable level set by the World Health Organization before releasing the water into the sea.
“The act (of drinking the water) would not scientifically prove safety,” the top government spokesman said.
The Japanese government decided on Tuesday to release into the sea treated radioactive water accumulated at the Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. plant.
Following the decision, Aso said, “You would have no problem, even if you drank it.”
In response, a Chinese government spokesman argued that Japanese officials should not make such a remark unless they actually drink the treated water.
Kato expressed the Japanese government’s readiness to give China and other countries transparent and scientific explanations about the release of Fukushima plant water.