I read with interest in the New Zealand Herald that the New Zealand Government have raised the issue of whaling with Japan.
The Herald reports that ‘Foreign Minister Murray McCully has told his Japanese counterpart that he is hopeful Japan will be open to resuming talks with New Zealand to find a diplomatic solution to whaling – despite New Zealand’s decision to take part in Australia’s International Court of Justice case to try to force Japan to stop whaling.’
Whilst we welcome the fact that the NZ Government are stepping up to the plate with Japan we hope that this does not mean a return to the negotiating position NZ adopted in recent years. The NZ Government turned its historical anti-whaling position around and entered into compromise negotiations with Japan within the ‘Future of IWC’ discussions, and indeed, was at one stage seen to be leading the charge for compromise alongside the USA.
We have to hope that the lessons of that time have been learned and this time NZ can represent the overwhelming view of the NZ people who don’t want to see legal commercial whaling come back – ever.
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