In Tuvalu, Minister of Finance and Economic Development Seve Paeniu said he is “concerned, dismayed, disappointed and kind of surprised” that Japan – which has first-hand experience of nuclear material – is now putting nuclear waste into the Pacific Ocean.

“Tuvalu collects roughly about 45 percent of its total income from fisheries and fisheries resource through access licensing fees to foreign fishing fleets coming to fish in our surrounding waters,” he said.

“Not only that, the livelihoods of our people are solely dependent on the marine life, on the fisheries resources surrounding our waters.””

He said Tuvalu was not able to attend the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meeting but they will take every opportunity to bring this up with the Government of Japan.

“Also, we would like to hear more clearly from Japan, the basis upon which they made that decision.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson from Pacific Elders Voice said Pacific Islanders and future generations will bear the brunt of Japan’s dependence on nuclear energy.

They say the “brazen act” will compound the nuclear legacy in the Pacific and disrespects the region’s strong stance against nuclear pollution.