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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: Australian bullying tactics pay off - partly

Suddenly after a meeting with Australian Environment Minister Ian Campbell, the Solomon Islands has changed their position on the whaling issue.

Read the article for yourself

What is disturbing is that there is no mention here at all about why the Solomons decided to reverse their position. After supposedly having their vote "bought" by the Japanese, all it took was a meeting with an Australian politician for them to change their mind? What did Campbell have to say that "unbought" the Solomons vote? Or did he just say "pretty please with sugar on top"? Hmmm, that sounds like a pretty tough sell to me.

However, Tuvalu is standing up to bullies, Australia and New Zealand:

The Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Maatia Toafa says his country supports the resumption of commercial whaling.

The Prime Minister has also asked Australia and New Zealand to respect Tuvalu's stance.

The International Whaling Commission meets in just under two weeks in South Korea, and Tuvalu is expected to support Japan's push for an increase in the number of whales it can catch.

Australia's Environment Minister Ian Campbell is currently touring the Pacific and gathering support to prevent any expansion of current whaling programmes.

However, Prime Minister Maatia Toafa says Tuvalu must be allowed to make its own decision.

"Our good friends, neighbours, Australia and New Zealand interpreted Tuvalu's position as pro-whaling," he said.

"We support the harvesting of all marine resources, of course including whale.

"We need also to respect the Japanese or whoever is wanting to make use of the whale," said the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Maatia Toafa has called on Australia and New Zealand to allow Tuvalu to be able to make a decision on its own, without pressure.

As I have mentioned previously it is precisely for this reason that secret ballots at the IWC ought to be permitted. Without secret ballots, small nations such as the Solomons will inevitably be subject to bullying politics from neighbouring Australian and New Zealand politicians looking to score cheap political points within their own constituencies.

This sort of behaviour on the part of the Australians is an international disgrace. Congratulations to the Prime Minister of Tuvalu for telling the Australian and New Zealand governments how it ought to be.

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