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David @ Tokyo

Perspective from Japan on whaling and whale meat, a spot of gourmet news, and monthly updates of whale meat stockpile statistics



IWC 2005: Aussies conceed that Japan is right

The Australians aren't so stupid afterall - not their politicians, at least. Johnny Howard (overnight cetacean scientist) and his attorney-general have both concluded that the court action that the anti-whaling politicians of the world have been huffing and puffing about lately "was likely to fail".

But you don't need to read Reuters or listen to the Aussie PM to know that - you can just read my blog. Japan's whaling is perfectly legal. And even Australia and New Zealand are party to the provisions of the ICRW which make it so. They could withdraw their support. But they don't. Because they are politicians.

Other choice bits:

Australian Environment Minister Ian Campbell said he would seek a permanent ban on commercial whaling and an end to Japan's whaling for scientific purposes at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in South Korea in June.

What a waste of time and Australian tax payer's money. It's the same in New Zealand of course, with nutty Chris Carter joining him there in a tax payer funded propaganda extravaganza.

The reality is that scientific whaling can't be stopped - and it's because nations like Australia and New Zealand remain signatory to the ICRW, the document which legitimises this provision. The anti-whalers talk every year about it, but never put their actions where their mouths are. The tax payers have been fooled for far too long. The Australian and New Zealand politicians don't take any action because they can score political points domestically by pretending that they are actually trying to do something .

"I really genuinely think it is quite possible that the combined strong views put by somewhere between 25 and 35 nations, and some more outside the IWC, should have an impact on the Japanese decision makers,"

Bzzzt, wrong again. Japan won't be influenced by that group of nations. The Japanese government knows that the core anti-whaling nations are just 4 - Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the U.S.A. All the rest are fringe nations who just go along for the ride.That's the IWC.
On the other hand, at the United Nations, which has a far larger, more representative membership, a majority of nations have voted in the past to affirm the principle of sustainable resource use. The Japanese are more than aware that the big 4 anti-whaling nations' dislike of whaling is nothing more than a recent (and likely passing) cultural phenomenon. The majority of people in the world start out looking at whales as just another animal, as do the Japanese.

The Australian newspaper said Canberra was lobbying European nations to secure the numbers to overhaul the IWC rules on scientific whaling.

Almost as disgraceful as it is stupid. Not only is Australia attempting to influence nations to vote a certain way at the IWC, they are even targeting landlocked nations which obviously have no interest in whaling. "The Government will target nations that lack sea ports".

Kudos to The Australian for fronting up and reporting this. They also report that Japan's latest research proposal "is expected to be approved at the commission's coming meeting in South Korea on May 30"
Unfortunately they don't bother to inform their readership on why this is though. But one has learnt not to expect much comprehensive of informative reporting on this issue.

Last word for this Friday night, from the Australian "Environment" minister:

"I will be representing Australia at the next meeting of the International Whaling Commission in June and will be working to remove any loopholes that allow commercial whaling, under the smokescreen of science or anything else,"

"loophole" is a word that the anti-whaling nations love to bandy about, but it has no substance whatsoever. Exercise for the reader: look up "loophole" in a dictionary. Then read Article VIII. It explicitly states exactly what was intended, and the Japanese and other whaling nations abide by Article VIII to the letter. A "loophole" refers to unintentional outcomes. There is simply no way that Article VIII could be described honestly as a "loophole".
The problem that the anti-whaling nations have is that they don't believe in not only Article VIII, but the entire ICRW anymore, and rather than save their honour and withdraw from the ICRW, they instead make silly claims such as this.

Isn't it time that the anti-whaling nations withdrew from the ICRW, stating their recently developed disagreement with it's content?

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