Among various issues discussed by the Prime Ministers of the Cook Islands, Tonga and Fiji at their Forum Troika Leaders meeting held in Suva on 11 August, Troika Leaders discussed Japan’s planned release of ALPS-treated water at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. At the end of the Troika Meeting the following Statement was released by the Chair and Prime Minister of the Cook Islands.
“Troika Leaders considered it important to have a discussion on Japan’s planned release of ALPS-treated water given prior discussions by all Forum Leaders at the Forum Special Leaders Retreat (SLR) in Nadi in February and Forum Leaders in person and virtual engagement with Director General of the International Atomic Energy (IAEA) Rafael Grossi on the fifth IAEA Report of 4 July 2023 on the Safety Review of the ALPS-Treated Water at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station during his visit to the Cook Islands on 10 July,” said the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands and Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, the Mark Brown.
Troika Leaders were guided in their considerations by the decision of Forum Leaders, the most recent at their Special Leaders Retreat in February 2023 – spelt out at paragraphs 20 – 23 of the Leaders Communique – https://www.forumsec.org/2023/02/27/communique-pacific-islands-forum-special-leaders-retreat/
In considering an update on Japan’s planned release of ALPS-treated water, Troika Leaders acknowledged Japan’s reassurance that discharge would not take place if it was not verifiably safe to do so and reaffirmed the importance of science and data to guide decisions on the discharge.
Troika Leaders then considered recent developments that included the publication of the fifth IAEA Report of 4 July 2023 on the Safety Review of the ALPS-Treated Water at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and the advice from the PIF Panel of Independent Experts and in response to the fifth IAEA Report. The Leaders also noted the ongoing intensive and sustained dialogue with Japan and the IAEA.
In his opening remark PM Rabuka of Fiji, the immediate past Forum Chair, offered an apology for acting unilaterally ahead of the Troika Meeting after having considered the IAEA Report and to which Troika Leaders acknowledge his role in taking a position for Fiji. Troika Leaders further discussed the complexities involved in the issue and acknowledged the sovereignty of individual nations to take a position based on their assessment of the available science and in the best interest of their own people.
Forum Troika Leaders agreed the Forum Chair will write to all Forum Leaders within the fortnight, and in advance of the Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting, to present the results of their discussion for further deliberation by Leaders.
This story was originally published at PIFS on 18 August 2023, reposted via PACNEWS.