The Japanese Foreign Ministry protested to its Chinese counterparts over a caricature of the famous engraving “Big Wave in Kanagawa” by Japanese artist Katsushiki Hokusai. This was reported by Kyodo on April 28, citing sources familiar with the situation.
On Monday, April 26, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian posted on his Twitter the original print and a version by a Chinese illustrator who depicted people in hazmat suits pouring something into the water instead of boat passengers. The post is a reference to the Japanese government’s decision to dump water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea.
The Chinese diplomat captioned his post, “If the author of the original work, Katsushika Hokusai, were alive now, he too would be very concerned about Japan’s radioactive water.”
In the Japanese government, the publication caused concern. Kyodo’s interlocutor said that Japan’s foreign ministry found the post offensive and called for its removal.
Earlier, on April 15, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, commenting on a statement by Japanese authorities about the safety of drinking water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, advised them to check this on their own experience.
The Japanese government made the decision to release the water on April 13. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova expressed regret that Tokyo had not consulted with Russia and neighboring countries before making the decision to dump water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the ocean.
Chinese and South Korean authorities are also concerned about the project. In their opinion, the discharge of radioactive water will have a negative impact on the ecology and health of the residents of neighboring states. China has announced its intention to discuss the environmental issue at the international level.
Thirty public organizations, the All Japan Federation of Fishermen’s Cooperative Associations and associations of fishermen of Fukushima, Miyagi and Ibaraki prefectures oppose water dumping from Fukushima-1 into the sea. In Fukushima Prefecture, 41 municipalities – about 70 percent of the total – voiced their negative opinion. At present, 65,000 signatures against the government resolution have been collected outside Japan. In the country itself, 450,000 signatures have been collected.