Response of HKSAR Government on release of final report by International Atomic Energy Agency regarding discharge plan of Fukushima nuclear power station


     The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government noted that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released its final report for its review on the safety of Japan’s wastewater discharge plan (the final report) today (July 4). The HKSAR Government’s inter-departmental taskforce, which was formed in response to Japan’s wastewater discharge plan, is reviewing the final report and will make further risk assessment regarding the discharge plan. The HKSAR Government will seek to obtain more information and relevant scientific evidence from Japan regarding how safety of the discharge can be guaranteed and follow up with the Japanese authorities on relevant matters. The HKSAR Government will take all necessary measures to safeguard food safety and public health of citizens in Hong Kong.
     Since the Japanese Government’s announcement of the discharge plan in 2021, the HKSAR Government has repeatedly expressed grave concern about the impact of the discharge plan on food safety, and has indicated clearly to the Japanese authorities that they should not discharge the wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear power station into the ocean unilaterally without the consensus of the international community so as to avoid bringing about irreversible impacts on the environment. As the discharge plan is expected to last for 30 years, it is a real issue that worries the public as to how the Japanese authorities will ensure the effective operation of the treatment facility continuously, and how they will ensure that the discharge plan will not pose any potential risks to food safety and the marine ecosystem. The HKSAR Government has repeatedly indicated to the Japanese authorities that once Japan commences the discharge, the HKSAR Government will immediately take control measures, including imposing import control on aquatic products from high risk prefectures of Japan to prevent the potentially affected Japanese food products from entering Hong Kong, so as to ensure food safety and public health of citizens in Hong Kong.
     Food safety is of an issue of paramount importance affecting public health. The Government is responsible for ensuring that food sold in Hong Kong is safe and fit for consumption. The HKSAR Government has formed an inter-departmental taskforce with the relevant government departments in response to Japan’s wastewater discharge plan. The taskforce comprises the Environment and Ecology Bureau, the Centre for Food Safety of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, the Hong Kong Observatory, the Department of Health and the Government Laboratory. The HKSAR Government will formulate and announce the import control measures on relevant food from Japan based on scientific and risk-based principles after taking into full consideration of the final report of the IAEA, the opinion of Mainland China’s expert, risk assessments and relevant information, etc.