Japan to leave International Whaling Commission, resume commer
JAPAN announced last month that it is withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission and will resume commercial whale hunting next year, sparking swift condemnation from other governments and conservation groups.
Tokyo argues that the IWC has failed to live up to its initial dual mandate in 1946, to find a balance between preserving whale stocks and allowing the "orderly development" of the whaling industry. After failing to reach an agreement at a global conference in Brazil in September to resume commercial whaling, Japan is now following through on a threat to withdraw from the global body entirely.
"Regrettably, we have reached a decision that it is impossible in the IWC to seek the coexistence of states with different views," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said in a statement.
The withdrawal will take effect at the end of June, with commercial whaling to resume in July "in line with Japan's basic policy of promoting sustainable use of aquatic living resources based on scientific evidence," Mr Suga said,
As a result, Japan will cease taking whales from the Antarctic Ocean and Southern Hemisphere — where it has ostensibly been killing whales for scientific research — and will conduct commercial whaling "within Japan's territorial sea and its exclusive economic zone," he said.
Mr Suga said the hunt would respect catch limits based on IWC calculations "to avoid negative impact on cetacean resources." Australia's government said it was "extremely disappointed" by the decision while New Zealand regretted Japan's resumption of an "outdated and unnecessary practice."
"By leaving the International Whaling Commission but continuing to kill whales commercially, Japan now becomes a pirate whaling nation killing these ocean leviathans completely outside the bounds of international law," said Kitty Block, president of Humane Society International.
Humane Society International said it was also concerned that Japan may recruit other pro-whaling nations to leave the IWC, "leading to a new chapter of renegade slaughter of whales for profit."
Clare Perry, ocean campaigns leader for the Environmental Investigation Agency, said history had demonstrated the need for global precaution whale populations. "Japan is rejecting mu ting a very bad prece which will likely hav tive consequences for she said. "It may brin whale populations cu international waters price."
Faced with collaps IWC agreed to a mor cial whaling from 19 with saving several s extinction. But Japan