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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



Sandy Hollway's latest anti-whaling rhetoric

The other day I introduced Sandy Hollway briefly. This just in the news today (from the Telegraph) from irrelevant Australia's anti-whaling envoy:
"Japan contends that its whaling is for scientific research. Australia simply does not accept this."
Once again, Australia declares publicly that it's good friend and big business partner, Japan is lying. I tend to think the Aussies are fortunate that few in Japan take them seriously where whales are involved. The vice versa is seemingly true as well, but if more Japanese consumers started boycotting Aussie beef things might not seem so rosy.
"Research is important to ensuring the maintenance of healthy whale populations"
Hollway at least recognises this much, yet it's a pity that he doesn't offer any thanks to Japan not only for it's long term JARPA programme in the Antarctic, but also it's major contribution to the IWC's IDCR/SOWER programmes over an even longer period of time. Australia has been requested by the IWC in recent times to offer a vessel to supplement that provided by Japan for the SOWER research cruises, but so far not come to the table. Ironically, despite Australia's purported recognition of science, they did manage to find the cash to send a gunboat to the Southern Ocean last summer to spy on their Japanese friends. Why cash for gunboats and spies, but not cash for research? Only Australian policy makers could tell us the truth, although I think the rest of us can take a good guess.
"but the kind of unilateral and lethal programme being conducted by Japan is not needed."

Hollway confirms with this statement that his mission has already failed (admittedly he already sounded pessimistic when I quoted him previously mentioning that he thinks it would be optimistic to define "success" as a complete cessation of whaling in the Southern Ocean).

Until Australia realises that Japan's scientific interest in the whales is not limited to conservation, but conservation and sustainable use of these incredible natural resources (as a valuable source of food), there is no point in him saying anything at all or holding meetings with his counterparts overseas. Hollway and Australia need to stop talking and do some listening and trying to understand if they want to contribute to a resolution of the issue.

Confirming the possibility that Australia would sue Japan, Mr Hollway added: "The Australian government is considering the legal option, and Japan is aware of this. Australia has also made it clear that we would prefer to find diplomatic rather than legal solutions if we can."

More of the hollow rhetoric that we've heard from the Australians ever since they elected their new government - who said they would be taking Japan to court, when they were in opposition and the realities of international agreements such as UNCLOS and the ICRW were irrelevant to their argumentation.

Hollway's comments in whole (to date) seem to confirm that his appointment was nothing more than a political ploy by the incumbent Australian government to try to appear as if they are going some way to fulfilling their manifesto, rather than a serious effort to affect change. But then, anti-whaling politics in Australia has in recent times been a domestic problem rather than an international one.

* * *

Yesterday in New Zealand a center-right bloc of parties scored a clean majority in the general election, so Helen "whatever Greenpeace says" Clark's anti-whaling government is gone. They have been relatively quiet in recent times anyway, but now that they are in opposition I personally expect to hear more screeching from them as they try to score "Green" points against the new government. The National parties' Nick Smith is suggested as being likely to be given the "conservation" portfolio, which traditionally includes the whaling issue in New Zealand.

But, being a New Zealander and recognising the higher average level of intelligence in New Zealand compared to Australia, I still expect them to be less rowdy and more realistic about this issue than the uppity Aussies from across the ditch (that's the Tasman Sea, to all you North Hemisphereans).



in my opinion, it's not up to levels of intelligence, but levels of income.

Relative poorness of New Zealand (compared to Australia) means more time spent on day-to-day activities, rather than various compassionate hobbies, as it is with whaling in Australia.

Fwiw, Murray McCully (MP for East Coast Bays) appears to be in charge of international whaling issues at the moment.

This might mean that whaling is not seen as a conservation issue :)

Greetings, and thanks for the tip. I noticed someone else pointing this out at the "Roar Prawn" blog the other day too I think.

Well we can hope anyway. My expectations from the National party aren't too great, but at least they'd be hard pressed to go as nuts as Labour were over whaling. Labour didn't even have their own policy, other than "what Greenpeace says".
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