While Lee Jae-myeong, leader of the Democratic Party of Korea, sent a so-called ‘personal letter’ regarding the Fukushima issue to the 88 countries that have signed up to the London Convention and the London Protocol on the 4th, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has already declared that “discharge is ‘dumping’, which is prohibited under the London Protocol . ” It appears that a legal review of contents such as “ It is difficult to consider it as dumping ” has been completed. This leads to the question of what is the benefit of demanding action at the level of international organizations in a matter in which the controversy has already been somewhat resolved in the international law community.
IMO, in fact, “It’s not speculation.”According to the International Maritime Organization ( IMO ) on the 5th, a document titled ‘Matters Related to Radioactive Waste Management’ prepared by IMO in October of last year stated that “interpretation of the London Convention and Protocol is the prerogative of the Parties ” and ” pipelines from land are prerogative.” The conclusion is that “there is an opinion that disposal through . cannot be regarded as dumping under the London Convention and Protocol .”
At the time, the IMO began reviewing the law as opinions among member countries differed regarding the Fukushima discharge issue. In relation to this, Park Seong-hoon, Vice Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, said in a press briefing on the 4th, “At the time, there was controversy among member states as to whether (the Fukushima issue) should be discussed within the London Protocol system, and although IMO summarized it as ‘a matter with the full authority of the parties concerned , ‘ He explained, “We expressed our opinion that it is not speculation .” The London Convention came into effect in 1975 to prevent the dumping of waste into the sea using airplanes or ships. In order to strengthen the effectiveness of the agreement, the London Protocol came into effect in 2006.
“It’s not an artificial ocean structure.”According to the London Protocol, ‘dumping’ is defined as ” the act of disposing of waste or other materials into the sea intentionally generated from ships, aircraft, platforms and artificial marine structures at sea .”
Therefore, the core issue boils down to ▶whether Japan’s 1 km long sea tunnel from land to the sea will be viewed as an ‘artificial marine structure’ ▶whether Japan’s discharge of water is aimed at the ‘ocean’, that is, the sea.
First of all , IMO cited lighthouses and buoys as examples of artificial marine structures and stated, ” Pipelines (undersea tunnels in Japan) are not considered artificial marine structures, and the pipeline itself is a matter subject to speculation . ” It was decided that This is in line with Japan’s existing claim that “facilities connected to land are not subject to the London Protocol.”
Additionally, the IMO clarifies that “the ‘sea’ as defined in the London Protocol does not include seabed storage that is accessible only from land.” “The discharged waste may be destined for the sea, but strictly speaking, a pipeline connecting from land cannot be said to be ‘in the sea,’ ” he said.
In the end, the IMO came to the opinion that ‘Japan’s undersea tunnel is not an artificial marine structure, and discharge of water does not constitute an act of disposal toward the sea.’
There is no precedent for ‘widespread application’In the so-called ‘personal letter’ sent to the 88 member countries of the London Convention and Protocol, Representative Lee said, “As stated in the Secretariat’s legal opinion on the application of the London Protocol (last year), the interpretation of the London Protocol is the inherent authority of the parties, and the London Protocol is “ There is a precedent for widespread application, ” he wrote. However , contrary to Representative Lee’s claim, the IMO opinion document that Representative Lee
mentioned never said, “There is a precedent for broadly applying the London Protocol . ” IMO referred to the Spanish delegation’s claims in the past and pointed out that “in the past, a broad application of the London Convention and Protocol was ‘considered’, ” and “however, this contradicts the general rules of interpretation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.” Furthermore, some point out that we need to look into the background that led to Japan releasing water at this point. In fact , Japan was able to ‘legally’ dump pollutants right after the nuclear accident in March 2011 . This is because Article 5 of the London Convention allows dumping by issuing a special permit in ’emergencies that pose an unacceptable risk to human health and for which there is no other feasible solution’.
However, at the time, the international community prioritized Japan’s rapid overcoming of the disaster, but Japan’s ‘legal dumping’ through special permits took a long time due to procedural issues, and there were concerns about the negative impact it would have on the marine environment. Accordingly, ‘discharge’ to bypass speculation emerged as a possible option, but Japan decided to store the contaminated water first, judging that it could not accurately assess the impact on its citizens, its waters, and the waters of neighboring countries. It was a measure that took into account the half-life and future development of contaminated water treatment technology.
This is why the academic world is of the opinion that the international legal controversy at the time has already been resolved to some extent. However, paradoxically, Japan’s voluntary storage decision, which was made in consideration of the environment, has now come back as a boomerang.
‘Personal letter’ even though he is not the president?Meanwhile, the term ‘personal letter’ used by Representative Lee is also controversial. In diplomatic terms, a ‘personal letter’ means ‘an official letter sent from the head of one country to the head of another country . ’ In the dictionary, it means ‘personally written letter’, but this shipment is controversial because it is an ‘official document’ sent by the representative of the Communist Party to the head of government of 88 countries.
In fact, Representative Lee promoted that he had “sent a personal letter” at a domestic press conference, but in the document (Korean version) actually sent to 88 countries, he only referred to it as a “letter.” This is why some 메이저사이트point out that the term ‘personal letter’ was used for domestic political purposes. In addition, the letter only stated that the author was “the Democratic Party of Korea, the majority party in the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea,” and did not provide any explanation as to the “opposition party.”
Meanwhile, on the 5th, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in relation to Representative Lee’s letter, ” It is regrettable that the inherent authority of the executive branch under the Constitution has not been respected again in terms of the unity of national diplomatic actions .” “Since 2019, the government has insisted on sharing transparent scientific information related to the discharge of contaminated water, sufficient consultation with neighboring countries and the international community, and discussion within the London Protocol at the General Meeting of Parties to the London Convention and Protocol . ”
) When a letter was sent to member countries urging international solidarity to stop Japan’s discharge of water, the government expressed its position, saying, “It is regrettable that it does not fit the aspect of unity in national diplomatic actions.” It is unusual for government ministries to repeatedly express regret to a specific political party .