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Fukushima Radiation Becomes Latest Japan-South Korea Sore Point -

Fukushima Radiation Becomes Latest Japan-South Korea Sore Point(Bloomberg) -- Radiation from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is becoming the latest source of tension between Japan and South Korea, potentially undercutting Tokyo’s effort to promote the 2020 Olympics.In recent days, South Korean officials have summoned a Japanese diplomat to express concern about a planned release of treated radioactive water into the ocean by Tepco, the plant’s owner. They’re also pushing for independent radiation checks at Olympic venues and proposing a separate cafeteria for their athletes, citing concerns about contaminated food.The radiation dispute is threatening to prolong tensions between the two U.S. allies, who have spent much of the summer trading economic sanctions and diplomatic threats in a tit-for-tat dispute. The feud has exposed lingering mistrust and disagreements over Japan’s colonial rule on the Korean Peninsula.South Korea’s radiation concerns contrast with signs of softening attitudes last week on the anniversary of Japan’s World War II surrender. Japan has also taken steps to show that its recent export controls won’t prevent legitimate sales to its neighbor. JSR Corp., one of the materials makers subject to the restrictions, received an export permit this week, according to a person familiar with the matter.No Backing Down“It’s gone so far that neither side can back down,” said Hiroyuki Kishi, a former trade official turned professor at Keio University in Yokohama, adding that the dispute would probably continue “or get worse.” “I’m concerned that Japan may respond emotionally, because the Olympics are seen as very important.”South Korea is also mulling whether to maintain an agreement on sharing military information with Japan, and may announce its decision as soon as Thursday, Yonhap News reported. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono told reporters in Beijing following a meeting with his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung-wha that the pact was important and should be maintained.‘Under Control’The issue of radiation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which was damaged in the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami, has loomed over Tokyo’s Olympic bid from the start. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe threw his weight behind the campaign, assuring the International Olympic Committee in a 2013 speech that the plant was “under control” and would have no impact on the capital.Now, Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. is preparing a release from on-site storage tanks, which are expected to fill up by 2022 with water treated to remove most radioactive elements. An adviser for the company has recommended a controlled release into the Western Pacific -- a common practice at other reactors around the world -- while the environmental group Greenpeace has urged keeping the water in storage.South Korea summoned a Japanese diplomat on Monday, with the Foreign Ministry urging Tokyo to look into international organizations’ views on the matter and be more transparent about its plans.Separately, the Korea Sport & Olympic Committee is set to make an official request that international organizations such as Greenpeace monitor radiation at Tokyo Olympic venues, the committee’s press officer, Lee Mi-jin, said. South Korean officials have also drawn up a plan to run a separate cafeteria exclusively for South Korean athletes, to ensure they don’t eat food from Fukushima, Lee said.The South Korean Food Ministry also announced Wednesday it would step up radiation checks on 17 items imported from Japan, including tea and chocolate.Produce from Fukushima is screened before shipment and is widely available in Japanese supermarkets. Recent data from volunteer organization Safecast shows that radiation levels in Tokyo are somewhat lower than those in Seoul. The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee declined to comment on requests from other countries’ organizing committees.(Updates with comments from Japanese foreign minister in sixth paragraph. A previous version of this story misspelled the name of Hiroyuki Kishi in fifth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Stephen Stapczynski.To contact the reporters on this story: Isabel Reynolds in Tokyo at ireynolds1@bloomberg.net;Jihye Lee in Seoul at jlee2352@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Peter PaeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Wed, 21 Aug 2019 05:26:24 -0400

WRAPUP 2-Hong Kong protests planned for mob-attack subway as bank warns of economic fallout -

WRAPUP 2-Hong Kong protests planned for mob-attack subway as bank warns of economic falloutA major bank warned on Wednesday that weeks of protests in Hong Kong could hit the economies of the Chinese-ruled city and mainland China itself as demonstrators headed for a sit-in at the subway site of a mid-summer mob attack. Hong Kong-based Bank of East Asia Ltd (BEA) posted a 75% slump in first-half net profit after it wrote down loans in China because of a downturn in commercial property markets outside China's top cities. It also warned that social unrest in Hong Kong and a trade dispute between China and the United States could affect the economies of China and the former British colony.


Wed, 21 Aug 2019 03:51:35 -0400

Kashmir families demand answers for 'unaccounted for' deaths -

Kashmir families demand answers for 'unaccounted for' deathsRafiq Shagu's wife died shortly after Friday prayers in India's Muslim-majority Kashmir when tear gas smashed through a window in their home and filled the room. Now, with Indian authorities denying their troops have caused any civilian deaths while enforcing a lockdown of more than two weeks in the Himalayan region, he is facing what may be a futile quest to hold those responsible to account. In an interview with AFP, Shagu recalled the horrific events of the August 9 afternoon when he said his wife, Fehmeeda, was teaching her two children at their home in Srinagar, the largest city in Indian-controlled Kashmir.


Wed, 21 Aug 2019 03:13:27 -0400

The Amazon is burning and smoke from the fires can be seen from space -

The Amazon is burning and smoke from the fires can be seen from spaceSmoke from record wildfires raging in the Amazon rainforest blanketed São Paulo on Monday and could be seen from space.


Tue, 20 Aug 2019 23:43:50 -0400

'Ticking time bomb': Violence surges amid guard shortage, lockdown at Mississippi prison -

'Ticking time bomb': Violence surges amid guard shortage, lockdown at Mississippi prisonAs a lockdown at this Mississippi prison enters its seventh month, violence is rampant. It's "not a sustainable situation," ACLU official says. Others agree.


Tue, 20 Aug 2019 20:34:43 -0400


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