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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

5/06/2013

 

ICJ case updates

First post in a long long time.

A couple of marathons and better stuff to do than thinking about anti-whaling nutters has largely kept me disinterested in the whaling circus for the last couple of years, and by the looks of it I haven't missed much.

Sea Shepherd have apparently continued their dangerous activities in the Southern Ocean (with success from their point-of-view), their leader has become an international fugitive, they have been labelled as "pirates" by the US justice system, and whale meat is still on the shelves here in Tokyo at my local supermarkets. All in all, not a great deal of significant change to my mind, just short term events.

Although I should note that recently I've seen more Icelandic whale meat on sale than before. Presumably the commercially produced Icelandic fin whale product has a good price advantage on the Japanese research whaling minke whale stuff, although with the Japanese yen weakenening over the past 5 or 6 months this may have some impact on prices for Iceland's product going forward. The strength of the yen must have been a nice tail wind for Iceland's whalers until now.


Personally I am looking at the ICJ case between Australia and Japan as having far more long term significance for the whaling disputes than anything to do with Sea Shepherd's activities.

A good number of documents have become available at the ICJ page as the proceedings run their course.

It sounds like there will be a lot of action there in July. Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately, I won't be around much of a computer for a good part of July to be able to follow, but perhaps some more details about the case and it's path will become available at the time.

A couple of documents (here and here) about the recent intervention by New Zealand are full of legalese but there are some interesting bits for the lay person:

Judge Owada adds that the Order does not sufficiently examine, in the concrete context of the situation of this case, the serious issues raised by Japan regarding the intervention by New Zealand. Judge Owada notes that, although Japan does not raise a formal objection to the intervention, it seems evident that it is deeply concerned that New Zealand’s intervention could have consequences that would affect the equality of the Parties to the dispute and thus the fair administration of justice.

Judge Owada further writes that it is regrettable that a State Party to a case before the Court and a State seeking to intervene in that case pursuant to Article 63 of the Statute should engage in what could be perceived as active collaboration in litigation strategy to use the Court’s Statute and the Rules of Court for the purpose of promoting their common interest, as is candidly admitted in their Joint Media Release of 15 December 2010.
Sounds very much like the dirty tricks of the IWC have been brought to the ICJ, although that is to be expected.

On the other hand, there is also a clear indication that at least one other judge on the panel takes an anti-whaling view:
15. He then recalls that the 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW), provides for the proper conservation of the whale stocks and the orderly development of the whaling industry; it is, in his view, clear that the former stands higher, as without the proper conservation of whale stocks there can be no orderly development of the whaling industry. The basic foundation of the ICRW is thus the conservation of all whale species at issue.
Obviously I can't agree with this judge's higher emphasis on conservation. Naturally there can be no sustainable whaling without conservation, however conservation without regard for the goal of development of the whaling industry is a denial of the true purpose of the convention.

At the end of the day, if the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling can be abused to the point that it's original purpose - whaling - is no longer possible, then there is no longer any benefit for nations with an interest in whaling remaining party to it. This is a key point to which I expect most ICJ judges will pay respect to, given the precedents that could be set for international agreements if they can simply be turned back on, not least of all for the functioning of the IWC.

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Comments:
Hi David,
This is a phd student in USA. I reckon that one of the reasons to write this blog is that you want to make things different. I would like to work with you, you provided stockpiling data and related documents, and I do the analysis, hopefully we could publish couple papers. Look forward to hearing from you, my email is hderric3@gmail.com, thanks.
 
Hi David,

Since I couldn't find an e-mail address I'll just ask this here and hope you don't mind.

I've heard rumors that many Japanese restaurants that specialize in whale meat are hesitant to let Westerners in (basically telling you they have no available tables, whether they do or not). Do you know if there's any truth to this and if so, how to get around the problem? As a Norwegian I'm quite comfortable with eating whale meat, so I'd like to try some "Japanese style" while in Japan.
 
B. Huang, sorry for the slow reply. To be honest I haven't been keeping up with the stockpile data for a couple of years, and don't even know where it is now.

Perhaps in the past I wanted to use the blog as an outlet for free-thinking people to get information through a different filter, but these days I find there is other stuff to spend my time on that is more productive. Ultimately the Japanese will sort this shit out themselves if they care enough to do so!

S. Leland,

Norwegian whale eaters are of course welcome to ask stuff here. Personally, I can't say I vividly recall ever being turned away from a whale restaurant, but then I speak Japanese so that may result in different treatment.

But I personally suspect that there wouldn't be many restaurants like that... They are happy for business I would imagine, and quite a lot of foreigners are happy to try whale when in Japan.
 
FWIW, I've never been turned down at a restaurant either. Much the contrary, I've had a proprietor at Fukuoka's Yanagibashi fish market encourage me to sample whale.

I imagine the only place this might happen is Taiji. Taiji is a small town that's recently had a lot of Animal Rights people harassing them.
They not only harass the locals, but have damaged property, made ridiculous allegations to the police, trespassed in people's homes, etc.
Therefore all foreigners are probably assumed to be trouble-makers. I imagine any foreigner going to Taiji has to fight the reputation that these lowlifes have created for themselves. And I doubt any restaurants are very keen on dealing with them.
 
Oh a lot of fake webs on here… Well, I really love that film and I’d hate that someone came here to post me a site where you have to download some virus to watch the film. I recommend you freenewonlinemovies.com, you have lots of HQ movies and you can get unlimited access for free (without download anything).
 
Shaandaar Full Movie

 
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