Winston Peters critical as Japan announces whaling will resume

Mindy Sparks
December 26, 2018

It announced today it is leaving the International Whaling Commission to enable it to resume hunting the animals for commercial use.

The announcement comes after Japan failed earlier this year to convince the IWC to allow it to resume commercial whaling.

Second, its commercial whaling will be limited to its territorial waters and its exclusive economic zone. He said the country's ships will not hunt in the Antarctic or in the southern hemisphere, which was the main source of concern for Australia.

The move on Wednesday, which is expected to draw worldwide criticism, came more than three months after the global body for the conservation of whales rejected a Tokyo-led proposal to lift a 32-year ban on the commercial hunting of the mammals.

"Regrettably, we have reached a decision that it is impossible in the IWC to seek the coexistence of states with different views".

Leaving the IWC means Japanese whalers will be able to resume hunting in Japanese coastal waters of minke and other whales now protected by the IWC.

But Japan will not be able to continue the so-called scientific research hunts in the Antarctic and elsewhere that it has been exceptionally allowed as an IWC member.

"The government of Japan must urgently act to conserve marine ecosystems, rather than resume commercial whaling", Sam Annesley, executive director at Greenpeace Japan, said in a statement.

Australia's government said it was "extremely disappointed" and urged Japan to reconsider.

However, Australia and New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters welcomed Japan's withdrawal from the southern ocean.

"Whaling is an outdated and unnecessary practice".

"As a result of modern fleet technology, overfishing in both Japanese coastal waters and high seas areas has led to the depletion of many whale species", Greenpeace International said.

Many members of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party do support whaling, and he himself comes from a constituency where whale hunting remains popular.

"There have been no concessions from countries who only place importance on the protection of whales", Suga said.

"It's clear that the government is trying to sneak in this announcement at the end of year, away from the spotlight of global media", said Sam Annesley, the Executive Director at Greenpeace Japan.

"This is devastating news for the whales and we can only hope that conservation-minded countries like the United Kingdom will take appropriate measures to respond to Japan's decision, including the threat of sanctions".

Japan is the biggest financial contributor to the IWC, which may now have to find ways to replace lost funding.

Japan has long defied such protests to conduct what it calls scientific research whaling, having repeatedly said its ultimate goal was to whale commercially again.

It makes no secret of the fact that meat from the expeditions ends up on dinner tables, and argues that stocks of certain whales are now sufficient to allow commercial hunts to resume.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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