Just a few days after I wrote of the threat that Japanese Government aid poses for conservation, the Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda has linked receiving fisheries aid for his country with continued support for Japan on the issue of whaling and reform of the United Nations Security Council.
As reported in Antigua & Barbuda’s ‘The Daily Observer’, in reply to signing, “a deal on Thursday for a grant worth US$800,000 as assistance for disaster reduction equipment and improving fishery equipment and machinery”, Prime Minister Gaston Browne, stated that, “We continue to support you in the international forum, even on the controversial issue of whaling and we do so knowing that you have been a good development partner to the government and people of Antigua and Barbuda. You can be assured of our continued support as we continue to collaborate on many international issues, including the issue of reform of the United Nations.”
Whilst Antiguan representatives have previously dismissed such linkages, the Japanese Government has recognised and actively pursued the use of aid as a mechanism to affect recipient countries positions at the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
In a 2011 MOFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) report the Japanese Goverenment were advised to utilise fisheries facilities in client states, “In the field of public relations, it could be a good way to increase the opportunity for the local people approaching Japanese ideas on the environment and resource conservation. To achieve this, Japan’s contributions should be promulgated from a more integrated viewpoint by using the facilities donated as a setting for other schemes…Books and videos on nature protection and resource utilization in Japan could be useful…
By so doing, the [fisheries] facility could be used to promulgate the Japanese ideas or philosophy on sustainable use of natural resources and conservation.”
Of course the only real conservation Japan’s whalers want to engage in is preserving their industry and its subsidies from the Japanese taxpayer.