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Image: Peter Flood

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Japan formally announces new scientific whaling programme in the Antarctic

Depsite failing to get approval from the International Whaling Commission (IWC), and with its whaling being condemned by the International Court of Justice, Japan has formally announced today, 27th November, that it will recommence ist unliateral ‘scientifc’ whaling in the Antarctic this austral summer. The BBC is reporting that Japan will start whaling on the 1st December

Whilst recent meetings of an expert panel and meetings of the full IWC scientific committee challenged Japan’s new proposal, NEWREP-A, as not being able to demonstrate that it was ‘reasonable’ to use lethal takes of whales, Japan has unilaterally decided that its own review of its own proposal, “…has completed, to an objectively reasonable level, the key elements of the additional works/analyses concerning the items agreed at SC66a. The results of these additional works/analyses have demonstrated that i) information derived  from the lethal sampling under NEWREP-A will contribute to the improvement of the conservation and management of whale stocks to the extent described in paragraph 3 of 2(1) above, and ii) the proposed sample size (333) remains reasonable even when various  uncertainties are taken into account.”

WDC believes that the world community has to respond to this affront by Japan by collectively condemning this unilateral step. Reports suggest that New Zealand is already working with Australia to see if they could follow up on their cooperation at the ICJ.

An excellent critique of Japan’s decision can be found in the Japan Times  by Jeff Kingston, director of Asian Studies, Temple University Japan.

In rejecting the IWC process, which has yet to fully decide how to implement the UN’s highest court’s decision on Japan’s illegal whaling,  and Japan’s recent rejection of the ICJ as a decision making body, Japan has once again shown that it is willing to disregard science, international law, and international cooperation when it comes to its addiction to killing whales.

To many, Japan has now really become the pirate whaler of the 21st Century.


[<a href=”//storify.com/ButlerStroud/japan-s-whaling-on-trial” target=”_blank”>View the story “Japan’s whaling on trial” on Storify</a>]