A girl prays after setting a floating candle lantern on the river in Hiroshima, Japan.

A girl prays after setting a floating candle lantern on the river in Hiroshima, Japan, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city, August 6, 2015.


The general secretary of the National Christian Council in Japan (NCCJ) and chairperson of the NCCJ Peace and Nuclear Issues Committee jointly issued a statement, citing the Christian mission "to take care of the Earth" and calling upon the government to withdraw this decision.

On 13 April, the government of Japan approved the release into the ocean of more than 1.25 million tons of radioactive waste water that has steadily accumulated from the melted nuclear fuel debris of Reactors 1 and 3 of the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which were destroyed in 2011. The justification given for this decision was that the storage tanks installed within the grounds would be completely filled within another two years. 

If this decision is carried out from 2023, radioactive tritium would be released into the Pacific Ocean over the next 30 to 40 years.  The government claims that releasing tritium-contaminated water into the ocean is the only possible solution, but experts point to alternative possibilities, such as on-land storage, or by means of mortar solidification. The NCCJ statement claims that these possibilities were not considered in the recent decision of the government approving the cheaper option.

The creation stories from the Bible tell us about the interconnectedness of all life, Sauca reflected, and to release contaminated water into the sea with known and unknown consequences is acting against what we know is right and undermines life of many in the interconnected creation.

“Our immediate concerns are for the impact this will have on the local fishing industries and others who depend on the nearby waters for their livelihoods,” said Sauca. “However, the potentially devastating long-term consequences for the environment and human health in the whole of East Asia and beyond which would result from the release of contaminated radioactive water over such a period of time cannot be ignored.

“I urge the Japanese government to choose a path which protects and sustains life and creation in the region and around the world, and to reverse this extremely regrettable decision.”

NCCJ Statement against the release of contaminated water from Fukushima into the ocean

WCC member churches in Japan