More than 30 college students in South Korea’s capital have shaved their heads in front of the Japanese embassy to show their opposition to Tokyo’s plan to dump more than a million tons of nuclear wastewater into the ocean.
On Tuesday, crowds gathered around the Japanese embassy in Seoul to watch college students, both girls and boys, shave their heads in protest, calling on Tokyo to ditch their plans to dump nuclear wastewater from the defunct Fukushima power plant into the ocean.
As their heads were shaved, the students wore protective sheets covered in messages for their cause. One read: “The Japanese government should immediately cancel the plan to release the contaminated water” and “We will continue to work until Japan stops the discharge of contaminated water.”
The crowds were met by a sizeable police presence, which attempted to move protesters on and enforce Covid-19 measures which limit gatherings to no more than 10 people.
Local media say the students also attempted to deliver a letter to the embassy, but the police intervened.
Last week, the Japanese government said it would be releasing the wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear plant, which went into meltdown in 2011, into the ocean “in around two years.” The plan, which has been touted as Tokyo’s favorite proposal for a while, was met with condemnation by Japan’s neighbors.
In response, Beijing labeled Tokyo “extremely irresponsible” and called for consultations with neighboring countries and relevant parties. South Korea also protested against the decision.
The water, of which there is more than one million tons, is known to contain radioactive tritium but Greenpeace also claim the supposedly “treated” liquid still contains “dangerous levels of carbon-14,” a radioactive substance that has the “potential to damage human DNA.”
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