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Japan to delay nuclear wastewater release into Pacific Ocean says PIF

Japan has agreed to delay the discharge of treated nuclear wastewater into the Pacific Ocean until Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) experts verify it is safe to do so.

This comes as incoming Forum chair and Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown travelled to Japan as part of the PIF delegation in an effort to convey their concerns.

He requested a deferral of Japan's plans which will see over one million tonnes of wastewater from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant dumped into the ocean.

In a statement, the PIF delegation said it welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's assurance that Japan will not discharge the nuclear wastewater until such time that it is verifiably safe to do so and based on a relationship built of trust and in the spirit of friendship.

Marshall Islands Foreign Minister Kitlang Kabua, who is also in Japan, says nuclear contamination continues to be a real and grave threat to the Pacific, one which the Pacific takes seriously and is legally bound to prevent.

Brown emphasized that this matter will be discussed at the upcoming special session of PIF Leaders.

Also attending the Tokyo meeting was PIF Secretary General Henry Puna.

From left: Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Henry Puna, Marshall Islands Foreign Minister and chief negotiator Kitlang Kabua, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at a meeting of Pacific Island Forum in Tokyo Photo: AFP/Masanori Genko