Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Sunday that Japan is finally ready to accept global help regarding the radiation problem at Fukushima, where the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986 occurred in March 2011.
At Fukushima radioactive water continues to leak into the Pacific Ocean, polluting its ecosystem on a large scale, and thus, the entire world’s food supply.
“We are wide open to receive the most advanced knowledge from overseas to contain the problem,” Abe said, in English, to open a conference at an international science forum in Kyoto. “My country needs your knowledge and expertise,” he added.
In September, after Tokyo won the title of host for the Summer Olympic Games in 2020, Abe repeated that the Fukushima situation “is under control.”
“It has never done and will never do any damage to Tokyo,” Abe said. “It poses no problem whatsoever. … There are no health-related problems until now, nor will there be in the future.”
During Sunday’s speech, however, Abe offered no assurances that Fukushima is “under control.”
Fukushima operator, Tepco, admitted in August that around 20 trillion to 40 trillion becquerels of radioactive tritium had “probably” leaked into the Pacific Ocean since the power plant was crippled by a disastrous earthquake and tsunami in 2011; the legal limit of radiation in water is 30 becquerels per liter.
Tepco was repeatedly blamed by engineers and industrial experts for its negligence in administrating the toxic water leaks and for lacking the basic skills to measure radioactivity.
“As far as Tepco people on our contaminated water and sea monitoring panels are concerned, they seem to lack even the most basic knowledge about radiation,” said Kayoko Nakamura, a radiologist and commissioner of the Nuclear Regulation Authority.
Japan recently accepted help from France, which will contribute to decommissioning and dismantling the crippled nuclear reactors at Fukushima.