A Japanese government panel has roughly accepted a draft proposal for releasing into the sea massive amounts of radioactive water now being stored at the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant.

The economy and industry ministry's draft proposal said releasing the water gradually into the sea was the safer, more feasible method.

The proposal is meant to solve a growing problem for the plant's operator stuck between limited storage space for the water and an imminent backlash from the public and possibly neighboring countries.

Fishermen and residents fear possible health effects as well as harm to the fishing and farming industries that still face reluctant customers nine years after the meltdowns.

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