Ja­pan comes in for crit­i­cism over re­turn to whal­ing

China Daily (USA) - - WORLD - By XIN­HUA in­Welling­ton

The New Zealand gov­ern­ment on Mon­day hit out at Ja­pan for de­fy­ing the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity in­re­sum­ing whal­ing in the South­ern Ocean.

For­eign Min­is­ter Mur­ray Mc­Cully said the Ja­panese whal­ing pro­gram in the South­ern Ocean also served no le­git­i­mate sci­en­tific pur­pose.

“New Zealand has long­stand­ing and deep-seated con­cerns about whal­ing in the South­ern Ocean and we urge Ja­pan to re­con­sider this year’s hunt,” Mc­Cully said in a state­ment.

“It is clear that Ja­pan’s re­search ob­jec­tives can be met us­ing non­lethal means and at the re­cent In­ter­na­tional Whal­ing Com­mis­sion meet­ing the ma­jor­ity of mem­bers present agreed that Ja­pan had not demon­strated the sci­en­tific jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for lethal whal­ing.”

Mc­Cully’s state­ment added: “The South­ern Ocean is one of the world’s last great pris­tine wilder­ness ar­eas. Ja­pan’s de­ci­sion to con­tinue whal­ing there, at a time when we are cel­e­brat­ing con­ser­va­tion ef­forts in the re­gion, puts Ja­pan well out of step with in­ter­na­tional opin­ion on this is­sue.”

In­ter­na­tional anti-whal­ing ac­tivist group Sea Shep­herd Global has warned it is send­ing ves­sels to the South­ern Ocean to ob­struct the Ja­panese whal­ing ves­sels, prompt­ing con­cerns for the safety of whal­ing and an­ti­whal­ing crews.

InJan­uary, the gov­ern­ments of New Zealand, Aus­tralia, the Nether­lands and the United States is­sued a joint state­ment at­tack­ing Ja­pan’s whal­ing in the South­ern Ocean over the last south­ern sum­mer and call­ing for pro­test­ers and whalers to act safely.

It said the four gov­ern­ments re­mained res­o­lutely op­posed to com­mer­cial whal­ing, in par­tic­u­lar in the South­ern Ocean Whale Sanc­tu­ary es­tab­lished by the IWC.

In 2014, the In­ter­na­tional Court of Jus­tice is­sued a judg­ment that found Ja­pan’s “sci­en­tific” JARPA II whal­ing pro­gram was not for the pur­poses of sci­en­tific re­search and must cease.

The same year, the IWC passed a New Zealand res­o­lu­tion en­shrin­ing the court’s de­ci­sion and im­pos­ing lim­its on fu­ture sci­en­tific whal­ing per­mits, re­quir­ing non­lethal al­ter­na­tives to be con­sid­ered for any ap­proved sci­en­tific re­search on whales.

Af­ter a one-year hia­tus from whal­ing, the Ja­panese fleet re­turned to the Antarc­tic last sea­son and slaugh­tered 333 minke whales, more than half of them preg­nant fe­males, ac­cord­ing to Sea Shep­herd Global.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.