The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday called for a firmer response from the government to Japan’s decision to release processed wastewater from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant into the ocean.
The decision to begin discharging the wastewater into the ocean in two years was announced by the Japanese government on Tuesday.
If the water is not treated properly, it would contaminate the entire marine ecosystem and affect the rights of the nation’s fishers, KMT Culture and Communications Committee director-general Alicia Wang (王育敏) told a news conference in Taipei.
It might also make Taiwanese feel uneasy about consuming aquatic products and cast another shadow over food safety in the nation, she said.
Unlike international organizations such as Greenpeace or Japan’s other neighbors such as South Korea, the Presidential Office and the Executive Yuan “have not dared to speak loudly in protest” of the situation, Wang said.
She accused President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration of having “seriously neglected” its duty to defend the nation’s food safety, citing its decision in August last year to allow imports of US pork containing traces of the animal feed additive ractopamine, and its lack of a firm condemnation with regard to Tokyo’s latest decision.
The government’s response to Japan’s plans to release the wastewater into the ocean has been “too weak,” Wang said, urging the Tsai administration to “toughen up.”
The KMT urges the government to express the nation’s “solemn stance” on the issue and to lodge a protest with Japan, she said.
“We support maintaining positive and friendly relations between Taiwan and Japan, but when faced with national interests, including the dispute over the Diaoyutais (釣魚台列嶼), we should not yield one inch,” committee deputy director-general Huang Tzu-che (黃子哲) said.
When faced with important issues of food safety and health, including food or water contaminated with radiation, “we should not yield a single step,” Huang added.
Representative to Japan Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) should faithfully convey to the Japanese government the nation’s opposition to the release of the wastewater into the ocean, Wang said.
The government should lodge a firm protest with the Japanese government to defend the nation’s food safety, and the rights and interests of the nation’s fishers, as well as protect the safety of waters surrounding Taiwan, she said.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokeswoman Hsieh Pei-fen (謝佩芬) accused the KMT of having a “split personality,” as it is protesting Japan’s decision while also calling for the activation of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮).
As the government has already clearly stated, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Council of Agriculture and other agencies have expressed concern about the plan to Tokyo many times, Hsieh said, adding that the Atomic Energy Council (AEC) has also expressed its formal opposition.
The DPP has always opposed nuclear power and has vigorously promoted the nation’s energy transition under the “nuclear-free homeland” policy, she said.
“Unfortunately, we are once again seeing the KMT blow things out of proportion for political gain,” Hsieh said.
The KMT tried to imply that the AEC only expressed regret over Tokyo’s decision, but in reality, it voiced opposition before the decision was even made, and is also demanding that Japan furnish all information on safety measures, she said.
While the DPP’s stance is clear, the KMT’s is contradictory, Hsieh said.
“If the KMT is opposed to Japan’s dumping of nuclear wastewater, then how can it support starting the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, which would produce nuclear waste?” she asked.
Additional reporting by Chien Hui-ju
The Han Kuang exercises, the nation’s major war games, are to start today and run for five days. The drills are to include a military aircraft emergency takeoff and landing exercise on a regular roadway on Wednesday, featuring all three fighter jet models in Taiwan’s fleet, a military source said last week. The drill is to begin at 6:30am on a 3km section of Provincial Highway No. 1 in Pingtung County’s Jiadong Township (佳冬), and feature an Indigenous Defense Fighter, an F-16V, a Mirage 2000-5 and an E-2K Hawkeye early warning aircraft, the source said. The emergency landing and takeoff drill aims to
MRNA VACCINE: Heart inflammation is rare, but possible after a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 shot, and students need to be aware of possible side effects, an expert said As Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccinations for students aged 12 to 17 are to begin on campuses on Thursday next week, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday urged recipients to be especially watchful for five signs of possible myocarditis or pericarditis, which are rare adverse reactions to some COVID-19 vaccines. The Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices convener Lee Ping-ing (李秉穎) joined the CECC’s daily news briefing to report on possible side effects after receiving a BioNTech vaccine. Lee said that cases of myocarditis and pericarditis have been observed in people in the US who have received mRNA COVID-19
Taiwan on Friday accused China of seeking to use the Honduran election to “create controversy” and undermine Taiwan’s long-standing ties with the country, saying it would strive to win support for Honduras’ relations with Taipei. Honduras’ main left-wing opposition party, the Liberty and Refoundation Party (LIBRE), led by ousted former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, has said that if it wins November’s presidential election it would seek to “readjust” the country’s debt and establish diplomatic relations with China. Honduras is one of 15 UN member countries that maintain formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has already warned Honduras not
TESTING THE WATERS: Making the considerations public a day after a Biden-Xi phone call indicates that the US is testing China’s reaction, a think tank head said A Financial Times report that the US is considering allowing Taiwan to change the name of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Washington to feature the name “Taiwan” highlighted Washington’s “two-pronged” approach to China, a researcher said yesterday. The report on Friday said that Washington might allow the nation to change the office’s name to “Taiwan Representative Office.” The report came after US President Joe Biden on Thursday spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) by telephone for the first time since February. A White House readout of the call said that “the two leaders discussed the responsibility of both