MANILA/HONG KONG (UPDATE) -- An alliance of activist fishing groups in the Philippines and demonstrators in Hong Kong have expressed opposition to Japan's plan to start Thursday the release of treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean.
The National Federation of Small Fisherfolk Organizations in the Philippines, or Pamalakaya, with over 100,000 individual members, said Tuesday it is coordinating with environmental groups in Japan and Taiwan to hold simultaneous protests this month.
"People from many East Asian nations, especially farmers and fishers, have already spoken and repeatedly expressed their concerns about its environmental impacts," Ronnel Arambulo, the group's vice chairman, said in a statement.
"The Japanese government must heed the growing clamor of its neighboring countries to protect the world's largest and deepest ocean from the toxic radioactive wastes," he said.
Arambulo said the group fears the water from the Fukushima Daiichi plant could reach and affect the country's eastern waters, which are rich in fish and other marine resources. The group also urged Philippine government agencies to take a stand against the water release.
In Hong Kong on Wednesday, two groups of demonstrators held protests outside the Japanese Consulate General in the territory.
Around 30 members of the city's biggest pro-Beijing party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, held up protest signs to oppose Japan's "destruction of marine ecology," claiming Tokyo is "irresponsible" as it disregards human health.
A local fishermen's group maintained in a separate protest that the impact of Japan's water disposal plan on Hong Kong would be "immeasurable," particularly for those in the fishing industry.
"Many of us fishermen have felt hopeless and lost upon hearing the news" of the ocean discharge, a spokesperson said, expressing their "strong fury toward the Japanese government's shameful and irresponsible actions."
Local fisherman Yeung Sheung-chun told Kyodo News he hopes people in Japan and the rest of the world will pay attention to the impact of the water release on food safety and the livelihoods of Hong Kong residents. "Once (the nuclear water) is thrown into the sea, it will directly affect us," he said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin on Wednesday repeated Beijing's demand that Tokyo cancel its "wrong decision."
"The negative impact of the ocean discharge cannot be undone. The last thing we want is to see that Aug. 24 will be remembered as a disaster for the marine environment," he said at a press conference. "If Japan refuses to change course and goes down the wrong path, it must bear the historical responsibility for doing so."
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday that Japan will start releasing the water from the Fukushima plant Thursday, despite concerns among local fishermen and those of neighboring countries.
The controversial decision was made as a significant amount of water has accumulated at the site of the nuclear plant amid ongoing cleanup efforts following the 2011 nuclear accident triggered by a devastating earthquake and tsunami.