Little Mr. Tritium, the mascot which was there to encourage wastewater disposal into the sea, was scrapped by Japanese authorities.
In only one day, the tadpole-like figure was scrapped, and the government of Japan issued an apology. The mascot was a little bit like a Pokémon character, big nose, and was green colored. The tadpole was named after radioactive material called tritium.
Release of wastewater into the sea
This mascot was part of a promotional campaign. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced that Japan would allow the release of wastewater into the sea. The prime minister said this move was to encourage people to use the sea. He also wanted to explain that the sea is hazardous.
Japan plans to release one million tons of wastewater from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea. The govt plans to clean the wastewater and remove all the hazardous materials before discharging them into the sea. But the main thing that would still be present in water is the radioactive material Tritium. And that is how little Mr. Tritium was born with rosy cheeks and mainly displayed on every government website.
The angry people of Japan
People were angry when they saw that green Mr. Little Tritium character. The character in several flyers and websites of construction agencies severely angered Fukushima residents. “It seems the governments desire to release the water into the sea takes priority over everything,” Katsuo Watanabe, an 82-year-old Fukushima fisher, told the news agency.
“The gap between the gravity of the problems we face and the levity of the character is huge.” The character that was to motivate people and not to anger them was gone after a day. Locals believe that realizing wastewater into the sea would bring harm and especially bad for the fish business.
After so many years people have started eating seafood and due to these moves lives would be destroyed. “Nuclear power plants are highly specialized and difficult to understand,” an agency official told Kyodo, adding that the tritium mascot would be redesigned to take into account public sentiment.
Japan’s plans to discharge wastewater not only angered its residents, but the neighboring countries as well. South Korean authorities said they will take this case to the international tribunal for the law of the sea and will surely oppose the decision.