Friday, 22 March, 2019

Japan May Start Commercial Whale Hunting Again

Japan to withdraw from IWC to resume commercial whaling: reports Japan to withdraw from IWC to resume commercial whaling: sources
Doris Mccormick | 22 December, 2018, 13:40

The Japanese government has chose to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission in a bid to resume commercial whaling.

The decision, which will be announced by the end of this year, comes as pro- and anti-whaling members of the IWC have been stuck in decades of confrontation.

"We're going to continue to press the worldwide community to bring an end to the unjustified persecution of whales for commercial profit wherever it occurs", she said.

At September's IWC meeting in Florianópolis, Brazil, anti-whaling nations led by Australia, the European Union and the U.S. voted down a Japanese proposal to change the decision-making process - a move that would have made it easier for Japan to secure enough votes to end the commercial whaling ban.

The country halted commercial whaling when they adopted IWC's moratorium in 1982 but still continued to hunt whales in the Southern Ocean since 1987 for "scientific purposes", which was criticized internationally as a cover for commercial whaling.

Liz Slooten, a representative of the New Zealand Whale and Dolphin Trust, agreed in a separate telephone interview that Japan's potential pullout could have serious consequences for the IWC.

If withdrawing, Japan has to notify IWC by January 1, according to Kyodo News.

"If Japan leaves the International Whaling Commission and continues killing whales.it will be operating completely outside the bounds of international law", Nicola Beynon, of the Humane Society International in Australia, said in a statement.

Japan to withdraw from IWC to resume commercial whaling: reports

"So we're very concerned about Japan abandoning multilateralism and rules-based order, and we're concerned about the precedent it might set and if it encourages other countries to do the same".

1948 - The International Whaling Commission is established under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.

"Japan leaving could, on one side, tip the scales so that it could become an organization that deals with whale science and whale conservation". "We hope that Japan will reverse its decision and take its place beside the nations trying to undo the damage human activities have done to whale populations".

The country has not yet formalized the withdrawal, however, and a government official told The Guardian that the Kyodo report is incorrect.

Japan joined the organisation in 1951.

Moreover, in 2014, the United Nations' International Court of Justice ordered that Japan stop its annual hunts in the Antarctic Ocean, because these hunts were clearly not for scientific purposes but rather for dinner menus.

Japan's whaling practices remain a deep point of contention in the otherwise strong relationship between Australia and Japan.

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