Fukushima Releases Treated Radioactive Water into the Ocean, Local Surfers Send a Message by Going Surfing (Watch)

Yesterday, Japan began its decades-long release of treated radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. In 2011, a 9.0 earthquake destroyed the plant, leaving the area uninhabitable.

Although the International Atomic Energy Agency approved the plan, it remains controversial. China, South Korea, and Taiwan are a few of the countries that banned various Japanese food products.

Residents of nearby Nahara are concerned it will hurt their rebuilt community. To show the world they feel it's safe, local surfers revived the Iwasawa Surfing Games, a 25-year-old contest that died in the earthquake.

The news segment above is captioned:

"As Japan releases treated radioactive water into the ocean, locals in Fukushima are bracing for potential backlash. But, at Iwasawa Beach in Nahara town, some residents are hoping to allay fears by surfing above such concerns.

"The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is right along the coastline further down from Iwasawa. Twelve years ago, three reactor cores at the plant melted and radiation was released into the atmosphere and ocean after a magnitude nine earthquake triggered a massive tsunami."

Kentaro Yoshida, event organizer and Iwasawa local revived the contest to support his community.

He feared the wastewater release "will once again make Iwasawa untouchable in the eyes of beachgoers."

In the clip above, CNA news said around 160,000 Fukushima residents had to abandon their homes after the earthquake.

Yoshida was happy with the contest's turnout. Over 190 surfers entered, around double what he expected.

Former Japan surfing champ Tetsuya Nakamura is trying to be positive:

"I am worried, but we can't continue to be worried. We should all go into the water and help draw a crowd."


Don't miss another headline from SURFER! Subscribe to our newsletter and stay connected with the latest happenings in the world of surfing. We're always on the lookout for amusing, interesting and engaging surf-related videos to feature on our channels.

Whether you're a professional surfer or just an amateur, we want to see your best footage and help you share it with the world. Submit your video for a chance to be featured on SURFER and our social channels. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch high-quality surf videos.