Japan Considering Withdrawing from Whale Commission

One of the last countries on Earth to still hunt whales, Japan, is considering withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission.

[social_buttons]Japanese Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Masahiko Yamada said Tuesday that, unless an international ban on commercial whaling is eased, Japan could withdraw from the IWC, the international body that regulates whaling.

The IWC are gathering for its annual meeting next week in Agadir, Morocco, and many believe the meeting will seek to find a compromise between pro- and anti-whaling countries, including the possibility of allowing commercial whaling on a limited scale.

“I am considering various options,” Yamada said on Tuesday regarding whether his country would withdraw from the IWC. “This is really the final stage, and we’re not sure how things are going to turn out.”

This is not the first time Japan has threatened to pull out of the IWC, time and time again unhappy with the bans and moratoriums on whaling imposed on them by the commission. Japan are only now managing to hunt whales under the guise of research, though many have questioned the legitimacy of this claim.

“This is one of the most important meetings of the IWC in the last 30 years. It is my sincere hope that all member nations come to this meeting determined to break the gridlock that has been a hallmark of the Commission for so long,” Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett said in response to Yamada’s claim that he would not be attending the meeting, citing budget concerns. An official from Japan’s foreign ministry said that his country had not decided who would be representing Japan at the meeting.

Both Australia and New Zealand have called a proposed whaling quote system unacceptable, and have repeatedly called for an end to Japan’s hunt for whales in Antarctic waters. Australia has even taken it so far as to take Japan to the International Court of Justice in an attempt to Japanese whaling for scientific research purposes, believing it is just a cover for commercial whaling.

Source: AP

Image Source: Photograph created by Erik Christensen

3 thoughts on “Japan Considering Withdrawing from Whale Commission”

  1. "Both Australia and New Zealand have called a proposed whaling quote system unacceptable"

    Except that Australia rejects the IWC propsal and refuses to budge from it's "no whales to be killed" position, whereas New Zealand advocates a negotiated IWC proposal. New Zealand, along with the
    United States has criticized Australia for it's ICJ action.
    The IWC proposal reduces the whales that will be killed and closes the loophole. Ony a person who does NOT want to save whales would be against it.

    1. Graham J. Clarke

      This deal would legalize the slaughter of whales and there is no ethical, moral, political or economic justification for it. This deal isn’t a step forward at all. It is a step backward, to a time when it was acceptable to kill whales for profit.

      This deal would suspend the moratorium on commercial whaling for 10 years and reward Japan, Norway and Iceland for years of defying International Law. It could also open the door to whaling by other countries.

      In addition, the deal does not base catch limits on science, gives no guarantees that the whaling nations won’t continue to whale under legal loopholes and closes NO loopholes. The deal also acknowledges that countries could again start trading in whale meat or products effectively defying CITES. Under the deal, hunters will be permitted to kill humpback, minke, fin, sperm, sei and Bryde’s, whale species.

      Australia stands firm on its commitment to its people to maintain an anti-whaling stance. Unlike New Zealand that appears to be swaying backwards and forwards on the issue.

      It's really funny how people can fool themselves into thinking that by allowing the killing of whales that can somehow save the whales.

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