Joji Morishita, Japan's chief negotiator at the International Whaling Commission (IWC), says Japan will defy "eco-imperialist" anti-whaling countries and resume killing in the Southern Ocean in late 2015.
This contravenes the March 2014 ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), that Japan could not justify its "research" killing of whales.
|Note the similarity...?|
No, neither do I!
Morishita says international objections to whaling compare to restrictions on the wearing of kimono (!!!): "The average Japanese woman wears kimono perhaps 2-3 in her lifetime. Those ceremonial kimono cost millions of yen, so some might argue they're a waste of money. But what if another country then said that only a small number of women could wear kimono?"
Say WHAT?? Such a bizarre argument!!
The world court withdrew Japan's whaling licence in the Antarctic, forcing it to devise a new programme it claims has solid scientific foundations. In its revised scheme, Japan will kill 333 minke whales in the Southern Ocean next year, and a total of 3,996 over 12 years. The quota is significantly lower than the 850 minke it targeted each year, until Australia's legal challenge at The Hague put a temporary halt to the hunt.
However environmental groups have condemned the new plans, saying the hunt is still commercial – not science.
Morishita claims Japan is only interested in scientific proof that sustainable use of an "ordinary marine resource" is possible. He says weak demand for whale meat among Japanese consumers is no reason to end the slaughter. (A dramatic drop in demand in recent decades means thousands of tonnes of meat have been left unsold.) He fully expects the whaling fleet will leave for the Antarctic at the end of next year.
But the resumption of Antarctic whaling could be short-lived. From 2016, 'scientific' whale hunts must first be reviewed and approved by the general membership of the IWC, the majority of which is anti-whaling. The next hunt will not be subject to the requirement, because it's due to start a year before the IWC's next meeting.