By Elaine Lies; Editing by Jeremy Laurence
19 June 2015
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan hopes to resume whale hunting in the Antarctic later this year, a top official said on Friday, despite a finding by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) that Tokyo had yet to prove the kill was scientifically justified.
In April, an IWC panel of experts said it opposed Japan's proposal for its Antarctic whaling programme in the Southern Ocean because it did not demonstrate a need for "lethal sampling," prompting Japan to submit additional information.
The IWC's Scientific Committee said in a report released on Friday that Japan's additional material had failed to clear all doubts about whether "lethally obtained data" would contribute to management and conservation of whales, calling on Japan to provide even more analysis.
Last year, the International Court of Justice ruled that Japan's decades-old whale hunt in the Southern Ocean should stop, prompting Tokyo to cancel the bulk of its whaling for the 2014/2015 season.
Officials said then that whaling would resume in the 2015/2016 season, under a revised plan.
"There's no change in our stance on resuming whaling," said Joji Morishita, Japan's commissioner to the IWC, at a news conference.
Asked if he thought Japan's whaling fleet would be able to depart at the start of winter as usual, or within the year at all, he declined to provide a firm answer.
"We of course intend to resume whaling again this year - but we still have more work to do." [more]
By Captain Paul Watson
19 June 2015
(Facebook) – The International Whaling Commission (IWC) ruled today that Japan has not provided sufficient scientific data to support its ridiculous claim that the killing of whales in the Southern Ocean is legitimate scientific research.
They have asked Japan for further data to justify their request for IWC permission to kill whales under the pretence of Scientific whaling.
Last year the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that there was no scientific justification for Japanese so-called “research”whaling.
Last year the International Whaling Commission followed up on this ruling and said no to Japan’s pretence to kill whales.
No whales were killed by Japan in the Southern Ocean for the 2014/2015 season, the first time zero whales were slain in Antarctic waters since 1945.
Will Japan now spit in the face of international law and public opinion? Will they attempt to send their highly subsidized whaling fleet south again in December to target 333 Minke whales in the internationally established Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary? Will they do so in violation of the international moratorium on commercial whaling? Will they continue to be in contempt of the Australian Federal Court?
Or knowing that they have the support of the U.S. Federal Court will they tell the ICJ and the IWC to bugger off?
Sea Shepherd prevented Japan from taking more than 6000 whales since 2005. The Japanese have surrendered their demands to kill Humpbacks and Fins. They have even decided to lower their kill quota from 935 Minke whales to 333 if they return to the coast of Antarctic with their death machines.
But Japanese pride and the inability to back down in the face of international condemnation is goading them onward into making irrational decisions that have absolutely no positive economic consequences.
The whaling can only survive if backed by huge government subsidies and a willingness to be seen as a whale-killing pariah by much of the world’s population.
Ignoring the verdict of the ICJ will not help Japan if the issue of territorial disputes with China over islands in the South China Sea ends up before the ICJ. A nation that gives the finger to the ICJ will have a hard time convincing the ICJ that they have any respect for international law at all. [more]