Representatives of Japan's national fishermen's federation visited Tokyo Electric Power Co. headquarters on July 25 to hand in a letter of protest over the recent leakage of radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant into the sea.
"We are exasperated at the development, which is an act of treason to all fishing industry workers and to all members of the public in Japan," read part of the letter addressed to Naomi Hirose, the corporate president.
Hiroshi Kishi, head of the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations, and his fellow representatives also called on TEPCO to take every precaution to stop the leaks and monitor seaborne contamination more closely.
Tetsu Nozaki, head of the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations, also attended the meeting.
Nozaki told reporters the latest development was the biggest scandal since the onset of the nuclear disaster, which was triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
"We will take prompt measures to stop the leaks into the ocean," Hirose told reporters after the meeting.
He also defended TEPCO's belated admission that radioactive water was leaking into the sea.
"We were cautious and collected more data, because the announcement was expected to have significant ramifications," Hirose explained.
TEPCO announced on June 19 that it had detected increased levels of radioactive substances in a monitoring well on the ocean side of the hobbled plant. TEPCO workers had obtained the analysis results on May 31.
It took TEPCO another month before it officially admitted on July 22 that the radioactive water was also likely leaking into the ocean.
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