Today the Japanese government confirmed its withdrawal from the International Whaling Commission (IWC – the international body that regulates whale hunting) in order to officially resume commercial whaling. Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, said in a statement the hunts would start in July 2019.
The Japanese government has decided to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC – the international body that regulates whale hunting) so that it can begin hunting whales for commercial profit.
In doing so, Japan has effectively turned its back on international co-operation around the regulation of whale hunting.
Last Wednesday, the European Parliament voted ‘yes’ to the EU-Japan free trade agreement (or
Economic Partnership Agreement). It also agreed to a closely related strategic partnership agreement
with Japan. This marked the end of our campaign to use these trade talks to get better protection for
whales from the harpoons of Japanese whalers.
Every now and again whaling interests in Japan call on their government to leave the International Whaling Commission (IWC, the body that regulates whaling). ‘JEXIT’ as one commentator noted, trying to be clever.
When we launched our campaign in March 2016, calling on the EU to make whaling a deal breaker in the negotiations with Japan on a free trade agreement, we had a clear goal: to get the EU to use the trade talks as a powerful tool and put pressure on Japan to stop its whaling for good.
Norwegian fisheries minister, Harald Nesvik, has donated half a million kroner (around £46k) to support marketing of minke whale meat in Norway in an attempt to increase flagging sales.
Japan’s highly controversial whaling season in the Antarctic has begun again with hunting vessels leaving the western Japanese port of Shimonoseki today. Their mission is to slaughter up to 333 minke whales through until March 2019 for research.
Japan’s import and sale of sei whales products from its controversial “scientific” whaling programme in the North Pacific has been deemed as illegal by the global body entrusted with protecting endangered species from trade.
Japan’s hopes of overturning the 32-year-old ban on commercial whale hunting by changing current international regulations have been defeated following a vote at the International Whaling Commission (the body that regulates whale hunting) in Brazil today.
Japan’s proposal had been seen as one of the most dangerous threats to the ban on whaling and the future of whales for many years, bringing back large scale whaling and ending one of the biggest successes in conservation history.