Solomon Islands strongly condemns Japan’s discharge of nuclear wastewater


PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare of Solomon Islands delivered a resolute condemnation of Japan’s decision to release over one million tonnes of treated nuclear wastewater into the ocean during his address at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, USA.

In his impassioned speech, Prime Minister Sogavare expressed solidarity with fellow Pacific island nations, strongly objecting to Japan’s actions.

He pointed out that the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) assessment report on the matter was inconclusive and that the shared scientific data was deemed inadequate, incomplete, and biased.

Prime Minister Sogavare questioned the safety of the discharged nuclear wastewater, stating, “If this nuclear wastewater is safe, it should be stored in Japan. The fact that it is being dumped into the ocean shows that it is not safe.”

He highlighted the transboundary and intergenerational effects of this decision, characterizing it as an attack on global trust and solidarity.

Furthermore, Sogavare underscored the grave risks posed by the continued discharge of treated nuclear water into the Pacific Ocean over a span of 30-plus years.

He urged Japan to explore alternative solutions for addressing the issue and called for an immediate halt to the discharge.

He emphasized the importance of protecting the oceans, which are integral to the well-being and future of Pacific island communities.

Prime Minister Sogavare stated, “If we are to rebuild trust and reignite global solidarity, we must be honest and frank in protecting our oceans, which are the lifeblood of our people.”

Japan commenced the discharge of treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant on August 24, despite international opposition, notably from China.

Sogavare framed his stance as a moral and ethical obligation to advocate for humanity, particularly the voiceless and future generations.

He emphasized the deep connection between Pacific islanders and the ocean, declaring, “We are the ocean, it is our past, our present, our future. It is the foundation of our very existence, it is our identity.”

He implored Japan to halt the discharge, warning that history would be the judge if they do not.

Prime Minister Sogavare also highlighted the enduring impact of nuclear testing and dumping by big powers in the Pacific.

He reiterated Solomon Islands’ commitment to maintaining a nuclear-free Pacific, referencing their ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty earlier in the year.

He expressed concern about the development of military nuclear capabilities in the Pacific region and its potential to jeopardize the region’s nuclear-free status.

The international community is closely watching this issue as it unfolds, and

Prime Minister Sogavare’s impassioned plea echoes the sentiments of many Pacific Island nations.

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