Wednesday 9 December 2015

Australia considers legal action against Japan's decision to resume whaling

Government joins 32 nations protesting Japan’s decision to hunt in the Southern Ocean this summer

A Japanese whaling ship leaves the port of Shimonoseki in Japan on 1 December to resume whale hunting in the Antarctic. Photograph: Jiji Press/AFP/Getty Images

Australian Associated Press

Monday 7 December 2015 08.00 GMTLast modified on Monday 7 December 201508.02 GMT

The Turnbull government is considering legal action in response to Japan’s decision to resume whaling in the Southern Ocean this summer.

The government says it is exploring options for further legal action and has joined 32 nations protesting the decision in a bid to build international consensus against Japanese whaling.

“The Australian government does not support what is a deeply disappointing decision by Japanand we will continue to raise our concerns at the highest level of the Japanese government,” the foreign affairs minister, Julie Bishop, and the environment minister, Greg Hunt, said in a statement on Monday.

Australia’s concerns were raised in a demarche, or joint letter, with New Zealand and European Union members.

The demarche conveys “serious concerns” regarding Japan’s decision to resume whaling in the Southern Ocean in the 2015/16 season under what Japan calls its New Scientific Research Whale Program.

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