A group of Indonesian environmental and human rights activists on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Japan, demanding an end to the release of treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean, which started last summer.

Marthin Hadiwinata, a member of the local environmental organization Ekomarin and one of the plaintiffs, said the release of the treated nuclear wastewater "will directly impact Indonesia's ecosystem," asserting that seafood products contaminated by the water pose a hazard to humans who consume them.

After the lawsuit was filed at the Central Jakarta District Court, Marthin said at a press conference that they suspect seafood caught in Indonesia's waters and those imported from Japan have been contaminated with radioactive substances, citing some studies without elaborating.

Photo taken on Aug. 24, 2023, from a Kyodo News helicopter shows the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan.  (Kyodo)

The activists said in a statement that they decided to take the case to court after the Japanese government did not respond to the complaints they had submitted through the Japanese Embassy in Jakarta.

At the press conference, Gina Sabrina of the Association of Legal Aid and Human Rights Organizations said the activists' demands Japan stop releasing the wastewater, adding it also demands Tokyo pay damages totaling 1 trillion rupiah ($64 million) to the plaintiffs over the pollution.

The court said it will decide on the date of the first hearing later.

Last month, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in its first full report since the water release began in August last year that Japan's discharge of treated radioactive water into the sea is consistent with international safety standards.

The Japanese government and the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., maintain that the disposal of the wastewater is a crucial step toward decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi power plant that suffered nuclear meltdowns triggered by a massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

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