Wednesday, December 09, 2015

New Zealand leads 33-nation protest against Japanese whaling plan

The New Zealand government has led a joint diplomatic protest over Japan's decision to resume whaling in the Southern Ocean, Prime Minister and Acting Foreign Minister John Key said Monday.

"New Zealand and other concerned countries today sent a strong message to the Japanese government over its resumption of whaling in the Southern Ocean, delivering a formal message in Tokyo expressing their opposition," Key said in a statement.

"A total of 33 countries, including the U.S., Australia, Mexico, South Africa and the EU member countries, were represented at today's demarche, expressing concern over Japan's actions."

On Nov. 27, the Japanese government announced it would resume its Southern Ocean whaling program, with the whaling fleet departing on Dec. 1.

Monday's protest, led by New Zealand's Ambassador to Japan, urged Japan, as a member of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), to respect the commission's procedures and the advice of its scientific bodies.

"We consider that there is no scientific basis for the slaughter of whales and strongly urge the government of Japan not to allow it to go ahead," said Key.

"New Zealand has repeatedly expressed its opposition to Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean. We will continue to work to see this outdated practice brought to an end."

In March last year, the International Court of Justice found that Japan's so-called "scientific" JARPA II whaling program was not for the purposes of scientific research and must cease.

The following September, the IWC passed a New Zealand resolution enshrining the International Court of Justice decision and imposing limits on future scientific whaling permits, requiring non-lethal alternatives to be considered for any approved scientific research on whales.

 Xinhua -

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