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Is Japan's slaughter of Whales "Scientific Whaling" or "Commercia

Popularity 4Viewed 3053 times 2014-9-18 08:41 |Personal category:History|System category:News

In May this year the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Japan must immediately stop its whaling program in the Antarctic. The ICJ's 16-judge panel ruled 12 votes to four in favour of Australia's argument that Japan's whaling program was not in fact designed and carried out for scientific purposes. The court ruled that Japan must revoke current whaling permits and refrain from issuing any more.

Japan has used the 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, which permits the killing whales for research, to justify the slaughter of whales in the Antarctic. Japan signed a 1986 moratorium on whaling, but has continued to hunt up to 850 Minke whales in the icy waters of the Southern Ocean each year.

Now Diplomats at the International Whaling Commission are preparing for one last push to find a compromise capable of bridging the divide between whaling nations and their opponents at the biennial summit in Slovenia. A narrow majority of delegates have lined up behind a proposal from New Zealand to curb Japan's "scientific whaling" ambitions by enforcing strict oversight on the number of whales that it may cull, and the scientific justifications for this, particularly the availability of non-lethal means for conducting research.

Japan suspended its "scientific whaling" programme after the International Court of Justice ruled that it violated Article VIII of the IWC's whaling convention. Now Japan has declared an intent to resume "scientific whaling" in 2015 but the New Zealand resolution, if passed, would require that International Whaling Commission approve any new programme instigated by Japan.

 Whale meat consumption is falling in Japan – as is the trade's profitability – but the issue remains a point of principle in Tokyo, "Japan is heavily reliant on marine resources for its food and I think that's why they've attached such high importance to it," said Gerard van Bohemen, the head of the New Zealand delegation to the IWC. "Frankly, for the world's third-largest economy with so many other options, it seems like an unnecessary luxury and a burden." 

It's time Japan listened to world opinion and respected the decision of the International Court of Justice and stopped the mindless slaughter of these beautiful creatures in the name of science when we all know it is done for commercial purposes. 

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




Shake hands

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Comment Comment (6 comments)

Reply Report voice_cd 2014-9-18 09:41
Thanks for commenting here, we have recommended it.
Reply Report seanboyce88 2014-9-18 11:16
Nice article, I don't think I have to read the news on this now, you covered it!

It really is ridiculous that despite the international community opposing it and the lack of real massive profit, they are continuing with this farce...,maybe abe just really loves whale meat
Reply Report aussie65 2014-9-18 13:57
seanboyce88: Nice article, I don't think I have to read the news on this now, you covered it!

It really is ridiculous that despite the international community opp ...
Thanks and yes, maybe Abe does like whale meat. However it seems that the Japanese population in general are turning away from eating it. That's probably due to the overall opinion against Japan and it's practice of harvesting whales for commercial reasons.

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