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Japanese Embassy in Beijing Uses Weibo to Discuss Fukushima Water Discharge

A smear campaign focused on Fukushima’s discharge of nuclear-treated water is being countered by the Japanese Embassy in Beijing via the Twitter-like online platform Weibo.

The embassy has been sharing scientific data via Weibo to counter Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda about the discharge of wastewater from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean beginning Aug. 24.

The Japanese Embassy in Beijing has 1.9 million followers on its Weibo account, usually used to publish content related to cultural activities, tourist attractions, and food in Japan. But now, it has become the fastest way for Chinese people to learn what Japan has to say about the Fukushima incident.

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Meanwhile, CCP propaganda has incited a boycott of Japanese seafood and ignited anti-Japanese sentiment among the public over the past several weeks.

An Aug. 30 post sent by the Japanese Embassy on Weibo was forwarded 590 times, and got 1,298 comments and 687 likes as of Sep.2. The message quoted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi’s Aug. 29 comment where he said the treated water discharged into the ocean from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant does not contain any hazardous substances and that it does not affect the human body.

Several charts accompany the post, indicating that the effect of  Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS)-treated water on the human body is about 1 in 70,000 to 1 in 1,000,000 of the impact of natural radiation.

The Qinshan nuclear power plant in Haiyan, in eastern China's Zhejiang province, on June 2, 2010. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)
The Qinshan nuclear power plant in Haiyan, in eastern China’s Zhejiang province, on June 2, 2010. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

In addition, the comparative data showed that the annual amount of tritium contained in the treated water to be released from the plant in Fukushima is 22 trillion becquerels, about 10 times less than 218 trillion becquerels of tritium released from the Qinshan power plant in eastern China’s Zhejiang Province in 2021.

Likewise, in 2021, the Hongyanhe power plant in Liaoning Province, Ningde power plant in Fujian Province, and Yangjiang power plant in Guangdong Province, respectively, released 90, 102, and 112 trillion becquerels of tritium, all of which released more radioactive tritium into the ocean than Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant.

A post on the embassy’s Weibo account on Aug. 29 published a statement by a spokesman for the World Health Organization (WHO) who responded to questions from Chinese official media about regulatory standards. The spokesman said releasing treated water from Japan’s ALPS is based on safety standards supported by the WHO and seven other international organizations.

This post was forwarded 605 times, got 1,837 comments, and had 593 likes as of Sept. 2.

Another post dated Aug. 26 said that to ensure the transparency of information on ALPS-treated water, Japan fully cooperated with the IAEA and emphasized that China is also one of the member states of the IAEA. This post was forwarded 2,678 times and had 6,706 comments and 1,342 likes.

Harassing Phone Calls

A Weibo post by the Japanese Embassy on Aug. 25 indicated that unrelated individuals and organizations in Japan have received harassing phone calls from China over

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