Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Japan defies IWC ruling on ‘scientific whaling’

Tokyo announces new round of culls in the Southern Ocean despite a majority ‘no’ vote at International Whaling Commission, Thursday 18 September 2014 12.39 BST

Japan has responded to a non-binding International Whaling Commission (IWC) vote to impose strict limits on its ‘scientific whaling’ programme, by announcing that it will proceed with a new round of culls in the Southern Ocean next year regardless.

The 65th meeting of the world’s whale conservation body voted by 35 to 20 with five abstentions in favour of a resolution by New Zealand, requiring members to put future scientific whaling programmes to the IWC’s scientific committee and the biennial commission itself for guidance.

Had Japan respected the vote, it would have extended until 2016 a one year moratorium that Tokyo declared after the International Court of Justice judged it in breach of IWC rules on scientific whaling.

But Japanese diplomats at the summit in Slovenia said that they would not be bound by the resolution because they took a different interpretation of the ICJ ruling, and would proceed with the new round of research whaling in the Southern Ocean that they had already declared.

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