Ja­pan to re­sume whal­ing hunt de­spite IWC warn­ing

The China Post - - CLASSIFIEDS -

Ja­pan said it would re­sume its con­tro­ver­sial an­nual whale hunt de­spite the In­ter­na­tional Whal­ing Com­mis­sion de­mand­ing the coun­try pro­vide more in­for­ma­tion to prove the pro­gram is re­ally for sci­en­tific re­search.

The IWC said Fri­day that Ja­pan had failed to pro­vide enough de­tail to ex­plain the sci­en­tific ba­sis of its “NEWREP-A pro­posal,” which would tar­get 3,996 minke whales in the Antarc­tic over 12 years.

Joji Mor­ishita, Tokyo’s com­mis­sioner to the global con­ser­va­tion body, re­sponded late Fri­day telling re­porters that the coun­try would an­swer the queries from the IWC but its in­ten­tions would not be al­tered.

“There has been no change to our plan,” Mor­ishita said.

“As far as sci­en­tific points be­ing raised (by the IWC), we would like to re­spond with sin­cer­ity as much as pos­si­ble,” he said, ac­cord­ing to Jiji Press.

He added Ja­pan would “con­duct ad­di­tional analy­ses” to gain more sup­port for the new pro­gram, Ky­odo News said.

Re­gard­less of the rul­ing by IWC, Ja­pan can still press ahead with the “lethal sam­pling” hunt in the South­ern Ocean, sched­uled to be­gin in De­cem­ber, as it is ul­ti­mately up to in­di­vid­ual coun­tries to is­sue per­mits for whal­ing on sci­en­tific grounds.

Tokyo was told last year by the United Na­tions’ top le­gal body that the pro­gram of “lethal re­search whal­ing” it has car­ried out in the South­ern Ocean for nearly two decades was a fig leaf for a com­mer­cial hunt.

Ja­pan be­lieves the world’s whale pop­u­la­tion, es­pe­cially the mink stock, is size­able enough to ac­com­mo­date a re­turn to sus­tain­able whal­ing, putting it at odds with cam­paign­ers and anti-whal­ing na­tions.

Ja­pan has hunted whales for a few hun­dred years, but the in­dus­try re­ally took off af­ter World War II to help feed a hun­gry coun­try.

While other lead­ing in­dus­trial na­tions — in­clud­ing the United States and the United King­dom — once hunted whales, the prac­tice fell out of fa­vor, and by the 1980s, com­mer­cial whal­ing was banned.

Nor­way and Ice­land ig­nore the ban, but Ja­pan uses a loop­hole that al­lows for so-called “lethal re­search.”

Mor­ishita is sched­uled to ad­dress for­eign media on Mon­day in Tokyo.

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