CNMI joint resolution condemns Japan dumping of nuclear waste into Pacific Ocean


CNMI representative Sheila Babauta has introduced House Joint Resolution 22-11 to condemn the Japanese government’s decision to dump nuclear waste into the Pacific Ocean.

The joint resolution, which was co-sponsored by the rest of the House members, also calls for the CNMI to join the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Pacific Island Forum and the UN Special Rapporteurs in expressing “immense disappointment in Japan’s decision” while strongly urging Japan “to consider alternatives that better protect the surrounding marine environment and the people who inhabit it.”

In addition, the joint resolution supports a proposal to conduct an independent expert review of Japan’s plans.

The joint resolution, however, also states that the CNMI “immensely values its relationships with Japan…and hopes to participate in meaningful dialogue…to ensure mutual prosperity and stewardship of our oceans.”

According to the joint resolution, “Foreign powers have a lackluster track record for transparency and fully disclosing the dangers and risks of [their] nuclear activities, especially as they relate to the health of people and the environment as demonstrated by many environmental groups’ criticisms that the Japanese government and nuclear power plant operator did not initially disclose all the radioactive materials present in the water they propose to dump.”

“Due to this lack of transparency and reckless nuclear activities, Pacific environments have become inhospitable for terrestrial and aquatic life and Pacific peoples have been stricken with maladies ranging from cancer to birth defects over generations,” the joint resolution added.

It quoted former Pacific Island Forum Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor as saying, “Our fisheries and ocean resources are critical to our Pacific livelihoods and must be protected. We therefore urgently call on the Government of Japan to hold off the conduct of the discharge of advanced liquid processing system…treated water until further consultations are undertaken with Pacific Island Forum members and an independent expert review is undertaken to the satisfaction of all our members.”.