Japan has faced criticism and opposition from its neighbours and its own fishing industry over its decision to release more than one million tonnes of treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean.
The water has been stored in tanks at the site of the plant, which suffered a meltdown after a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011. The government says the storage capacity will run out by 2022, and that releasing the water is the most feasible option.
The water will be filtered to remove most of the radioactive elements, except for tritium, which is considered to be relatively harmless in low concentrations. The water will also be diluted to meet international standards before being discharged.
However, China and South Korea have condemned the plan as irresponsible and unacceptable, saying it poses a threat to the marine environment and human health. They have urged Japan to consult with neighbouring countries and international organizations before proceeding with the release.
The local fishing industry in Fukushima has also expressed strong opposition to the plan, fearing that it will damage their reputation and livelihoods. They say they have worked hard to restore consumer confidence in their products after the nuclear disaster.
Japan has said it will ensure transparency and safety of the process, and that it has received support from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other experts. It has also said it will compensate any affected parties if any damage occurs.