Japan's Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide says a decision on how to dispose of treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant should not be put off.
Suga told a Lower House committee on Monday that the government aims to make its decision on the matter in the coming days.
Wastewater produced by the crippled nuclear plant is stored in tanks in the compound that are set to fill up next year.
It's treated by the Advanced Liquid Processing System, or ALPS, to remove most of the radioactive materials, but still contains radioactive tritium.
He said disposing of the treated water will be unavoidable for the recovery from the nuclear accident triggered by the massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The government plans to decide on Tuesday at the earliest to release the treated water into the ocean, after diluting it to levels far below national regulations.
Suga acknowledged that fisheries workers and others are against the idea of releasing the water into the sea due to concerns about reputational damage.
He said the government needs to face them sincerely and take all possible measures, suggesting that it will provide science-based explanations to make its case for the release at home and abroad.