England aims to expand "anti-whaling group" at IWCThat's a typically tame piece which is to my mind representative of the general way in which the Japanese media view this issue - a bit of a storm in a teacup. Note that the "by joining the IWC we can save the whales" quote is a translation of a Japanese translation of the original English quote, so it's probably coming out differently due to the old "chinese whispers" problem.
(London - Kazushige Yokota) - The United Kingdom Government is aiming to enlarge the "anti-whaling group" within in International Whaling Commission (IWC). It is urging around a dozen non-member European nations including Poland, Turkey, Greece to join the IWC, pleading that "by joining the IWC we can save the whales".
At last year's annual IWC meeting in June, for the first time ever a resolution supporting a resumption of commercial whaling was passed by a single vote majority, which has seen a sense of crisis rise amongst the "anti-whaling group". For an actual resumption of whaling, a three quarters majority agreement is required, and both whaling and anti-whaling sides are aiming to expand the size of their respective groups through recruitment of new member nations.
2007/01/27-14:14 Constructing an anti-whaling majority = UK Environment Ministry soliciting IWC non-member nations
(London - 27th - Jiji) The UK's Environment, Food and Agriculture Ministry announced plans on the 27th aimed at increasing anti-whaling forces by strengthening their efforts to urge nations in Europe and Africa which are non-International Whaling Commission member nations to join. From next week, they plan to distribute materials pleading for the protection of whales, with the objective of boosting non-members to join the IWC.
The British government will publish a brochure this coming week aimed at encouraging nations opposed to whaling to join the Commission.
It says whales are "sensitive, social creatures", with some species risking extinction. Japan says these arguments are "old rhetoric and half-truths".
The UK's recruitment brochure ... says that protecting whales for future generations is a "global responsibility".
"Some whales are particularly at risk of extinction because their populations remain endangered following past exploitation from commercial whaling," it continues.
In two forewords, the distinguished natural history broadcaster David Attenborough writes, "There is no humane way to kill a whale at sea", while Tony Blair makes a direct call to arms.
"We urge your government to join the UK and the other anti-whaling nations in the IWC," writes the British Prime Minister, "to ensure that our generation meets its global responsibility to protect whales."
The arguments contained in the brochure were dismissed by Japan's deputy whaling commissioner Joji Morishita.
"It is always depressing to see the same old anti-whaling rhetoric," he told the BBC News website.
"Its basic position is that commercial whaling automatically means extinction. As we want everlasting whaling, which is totally different from the past industrial whaling of western countries which regarded whales only as an exhaustive industrial material, we would avoid extinction at any cost."
I think Joji Morishita sums it up very well. Perhaps another reference in there to the fact that the whalers support protection of species that are not recovering, or are still at very low levels of abundance, may also give a favourable impression.
Mr Morishita also warned that the IWC could break up without agreement on the eventual return to regulated commercial hunting.I think this is probably something that will be made explicitly clear at the IWC Normalization meeting this month. The ongoing rhetoric from the anti-whaling nations gives the impression that they don't take the possibility seriously - or otherwise they are simply happy to be playing an "all or nothing" game, despite long term whale conservation being at stake here. If the IWC breaks down, I can't see that there would ever be any putting it back together again.
Japan is regularly accused by conservation campaigners of using fisheries aid to buy the votes of smaller countries in the IWC.Very good from the BBC! Both sides of the argument basically presented evenly. My cap goes off to the article author Richard Black.
In reality, both pro- and anti-whaling blocs have sought to recruit like-minded members in recent years.
June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 January 2010 February 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 February 2011 March 2011 May 2013 June 2013