JAPANESE WHALING FLEET TO NORTH PACIFIC POSTPONED

JAPANESE WHALING FLEET TO NORTHWEST PACIFIC POSTPONED

Whaling Advocate Wants Obama Served Whale Meat (Sankei Shimbun, Japan)

“While Former Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshihiro Nikai boldly
suggested, ‘I want to see whale meat on the table at the state dinner for
President Obama’ … Ultimately, the government decided that it wasn’t wise
to attract the attention of anti-whaling countries right before Mr. Obama’s
visit, and that a ‘fresh start’ could be made afterwards.”

*By Yoshinori Higo and Takaki Rikitake*

*Translated By Chihiro Kamiya*

*April 24, 2014*

*Japan – Sankei Shimbun – Original Article (Japanese)
<http://sankei.jp.msn.com/politics/news/140418/plc14041811130008-n1.htm>*
The government has postponed research whaling in the Northwest Pacific,
which was originally scheduled to commence on April 22. In light of the
International Court of Justice ruling that Japanese research whaling in the
Antarctic Ocean violates the International Convention for the Regulation of
Whaling<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Convention_for_the_Regulation_of_Whaling>,
the government forecasts that if the current system is used in coastal
waters, Japan would again likely lose a suit brought by anti-whaling
countries. On the other hand, there is also a need to consider domestic
public opinion, which wants to see a continuation of
whaling<http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201404220050>.
During the period of postponement, the government’s back is against the
wall. It is being forced to formulate new plans, backed by scientific
evidence, that will be able to counter suits files by the anti-whaling
countries.

[Editor’s Note: While Japan has agreed to halt Antarctic whale hunting for
2014-2015, it appears poised to resume the
practice<http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/04/16/national/diet-ranks-call-for-whaling-to-continue-feast-to-defy-icj-ruling/#.U1gdwldiJPN>
after
that, perhaps by reducing the size of its “catch.” Since 2007, Japan has
sought to hunt up to 1,035 whales, a number the ICJ found to be excessive
and scientifically unjustified.]

Though the effect of the ICJ decision doesn’t extend to scientific whaling
in the Northwest Pacific, the ruling refers to the fact that whenever Tokyo
issues new permits for research whaling, it needs to take into account the
ruling’s reasoning and conclusions. Since it is the view of the Foreign
Ministry that continuing the current program of research whaling in the
Northwest Pacific would infringe on the court’s decision, coastal whaling
has been postponed.
Posted By Worldmeets.US

However, at the [ruling] Liberal Democratic Party’s general meeting on Apr.
17, whaling advocacy groups, dissatisfied with the government’s decision,
expressed a bumper crop of complaints. Former Defense Minister Yasukazu
Hamada raised his voice to executives of the [Japanese] Fisheries Agency,
saying “If you have no motivation [to help], say you have no motivation.”

Former Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshihiro
Nikai<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toshihiro_Nikai>,
bearing in mind that the U.S. is an anti-whaling country, boldly suggested,
“I want to see whale meat on the table at the state dinner for President
Obama, who is now visiting Japan.”

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