Tokyo announced a new round of culls in the Southern Ocean despite the International Whaling Commission (IWC) banning them from doing that.

Sadistic hunts

Japan killed 3,600 whales since 2005 alone. Photograph: ISSEI KATO/REUTERS

Despite sparking international outrage due to whaling, Japan shows no signs of stopping. A UN ban didn’t stop them, and apparently, neither will and IWC one. The 65th meeting of the world’s whale conservation body voted by 35 to 20 with five abstentions in favour of a resolution by New Zealand which would have prevented Japan from conducting whale hunts and masquerading them as ‘scientific pursuits’.

“We are disappointed with their announcement,” Gerard Van Bohemen, the leader of the New Zealand delegation told the Guardian. “We thought it important that there was a strong statement agreed about the interpretation and application of the court’s decision but in the end it wasn’t possible to reach consensus on that.”

“We urge Japan to abide by the decision of the IWC and to refrain from launching more hunts outside of the process set up today,” said WWF’s Aimee Leslie. “If Japan truly wants to advance whale conservation as it says it does, then it should not circumvent these new IWC rules.”

This sparks a dangerous precedent – if a country refuses to accept an environmental ban of two international bodies, then how can the ban be enforced?

No science involved

To make things even more grotesque, Japan insists that these are “scientific enterprises”. That they only “harvest” whales to better study them; that’s simply not true – it’s called lying, Japan. An estimate 3,600 whales were killed since 2005 alone, that’s not science – that’s a slaughter.

Recently, Japan’s commissioner to the International Whaling Commission [IWC], Joji Morishita, sparked consternation when he claimed that Japan had published 666 peer-reviewed papers based on its scientific whaling programme in the Antarctic. However, that actual number is much smaller: it’s 2, actually. The International Court of Justice [ICJ] analyzed all the peer reviewed papers and came up with 2; quite a big difference, isn’t it? Oh, and both those papers were based on the killing of 9 whales, not 3,600.

The presiding judge of the IWC, Peter Tomka also ruled against Japanese whaling.

“Japan shall revoke any existent authorisation, permit or licence granted in relation to Jarpa II and refrain from granting any further permits in pursuance to the program.”, he concluded.

Still, the killing will continue until an enforceable solution is put forth.

 

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