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Australia, NZ fear Japan may try to sidestep whaling ban

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"Whale meat is an important source of food, and the government's position to use it based on scientific facts has not changed", says Yoshimasa Hayashi.

Didn't the ICJ just say the government's use of whale meat was NOT based on scientific facts, or am I missing something here? Here we go Loop de Loop again. With a bit of luck though the loops will get tighter.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

“Whale meat is an important source of food, and the government’s position to use it based on scientific facts has not changed,” Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told a press conference.

Oh, please! These guys truly are idiots! How can it be considered an important source of food if nobody eats it? How about the 5,000 tons of it rotting away in freezers across the country? How about the fact that is overpriced? How about the fact the only way you'll get rid of the stockpile is to give it away to schools and force kids to eat it? How about the tens of millions of dollars Japan had poured into its whale hunting with no returns what-so-ever? Whaling is not and never will be commercially viable and the sooner these old fogies get it through their thick heads the better off Japan will be. Every country that hunts whales has huge stockpiles of the meat because the supply is much higher than the demand. Just because there are whales there doesn't mean you have to kill them. It's not tradition! It's greed bordering on lunacy!

15 ( +24 / -8 )

""A “deeply disappointed” Tokyo said it would honor the ruling but did not exclude the possibility of future whaling programs"

Ummm... most people just call that flat out lying.

"“Whale meat is an important source of food, and the government’s position to use it based on scientific facts has not changed,”

Classic Japan! An 'important source of food' that remains and rots in freezers (because no one wants it) until forced onto kids in school lunches.

2 ( +15 / -13 )

They will just apply for a whaling licence in northern waters - if they haven't already... Pretty tragic, really.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

""A “deeply disappointed” Tokyo said it would honor the ruling but did not exclude the possibility of future whaling programs"

Ummm... most people just call that flat out lying.

You may actually want to read the verdict. They decided that the JAPRA II can broadly be described as scientific research however the way it was designed and implemented didn't justify it's means.

There is absolutely nothing in this result to prevent Japan for creating an entirely new scientific research program if it so chooses. However it will need to be different to the current one.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

I hope the whaling ban eventually kills the whaling industry.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

the verdict does not condemn whaling, which many posters here seem to do. it merely states that if japan wants to continue whaling then it needs to devise a better "scientic" approach to it. at the same time, this belief that whaling is culturally important is nonsense.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

The Tokyo's response to whale hunting as research is just a front for the few old men who still insist on eating whale meat. Its like the Mafia with the store and restaurant fronts to hide the real business. Japanese researchers must be the world's most ignorant and stupid guys and gals if they couldn't find out what is killing the whales after all these years of research. Three cheers for the world court!!!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

“Whale meat is an important source of food, and the government’s position to use it based on scientific facts has not changed,”

Politicians like this disgrace Japan. The fact that an elected official, a minister of government can say this is utterly ridiculous. At the very least, offer a defence which doesn't fly in the face of evidence staring everyone straight in the face.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Clearly, if the ICJ rules that Japanese whaling is unscientific and the Agriculture, Forestry and fisheries Minister says that the Japanese government's position on the use of whale meat has always been based on scientific facts, then it stands to reason that the Japanese government does not abide by the ruling...at least according to him. That fact is indisputable, ergo logic dictates it does not merit a thumbs down.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

""A “deeply disappointed” Tokyo said it would honor the ruling but did not exclude the possibility of future whaling programs"

Ummm... most people just call that flat out lying.

Well, not really since the ICJ said:

The court ordered Japan to halt any issuing of whaling permits at least until the program has been thoroughly revamped.

So, they didn't order them to stop completely, only to come up with something else. Probably a drastically reduced catch quota.

I wonder if the IWC will say anything regarding the ruling, since Japan were basically following the rules that the IWC set down?

0 ( +8 / -8 )

The ban only pertains to Japan's Antarctic whale hunt. For the time being, they'll continue to hunt whasle elsewhere.

However, whale meat consumption is down already and Japan will have to seriously consider if it's worth wasting budgetary funds to continue whaling altogether. I'm sure the fishermen will be unhappy and out of work, but costs need to be reigned in.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Heda_Madness: "There is absolutely nothing in this result to prevent Japan for creating an entirely new scientific research program if it so chooses."

Ie., there is nothing to prevent them to once again use loop-holes under the guise of science, is what you're saying.

Forget that no one wants to eat it. Forget they funnel funds meant for Tohoku reconstruction for mercenaries on their whaling ships. Forget the comments yesterday talking about how honorable the Japanese are for promising to adhere to the ICJ's ruling... it's pretty clear they will just do the same as always and still try to call it science.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

No, I'm saying that the court found issue with their science but found no issues with Article VIII. You really should read their findings it may help you before you make comments that are incorrect.

And they are abiding by the ICJ ruling. And if they establish JAPRA III that will also be adhering to the ICJ's ruling

that Japan shall revoke any extant authorization, permit or licence granted in relation to JARPAII, and refrain from granting any further permits in pursuance of that programme

As I said yesterday, the key phrase is that programme.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

They already whale in the north Pacific. For now, they'll just continue to do that.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

捕鯨、やっちゃだめだよ!

thanks to Sea shepherd warriors and Aussie Greens!

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Knowing what Japan does on a regular basis..... I won't surprise me if they do sidestep the ban... Japan LOVES loopholes.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Give it a rest already.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

This has become a small world, you cannot hide even on the far sides of the globe. So the past is long gone, how do you prepare your polititians to face a world where there are so many rich people? And so many languages.... Japan, being different will cost you: whaling, children, woman, what else, so different and no friends, What will you do now?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The old people perhaps need to find the new hobby. Or they'd better finish those remaining whale meat than throwing a fit because nobody wants it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

the southern hunt was based on gathering enough numbers to bring in the required n for the data- with the interference they never caught the required number of whales per category- so though one or two years could be shrugged off you cannot keep saying the hunt is for science when you cannot meet the numbers needed to conduct research.

however that was due to the research protocols set up- if they scale back the protocols they can start again. the ruling was never against the validity of the hunt only over the research set up.

as for sidestepping the ban- it's not a true ban- if is a voluntary decision - it is not a ban. I would say Japan like a lot of things - made the decision based on respect of the USA- which is sometimes a bit dense in it's understanding of other cultures.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Heda_Madness: "As I said yesterday, the key phrase is that programme."

Of course it is, for people who love to exploit loopholes and have no actual intention of living up to their promises. So now instead of asking the hypothesis, "It is better with mayonnaise or soy-sauce" as their idea of modern science, they can say, "We're now asking if it's better with mayonnaise, soy-sauce, or tartar sauce. it's a completely different science! We stick to our promise of not whaling, so stop attacking our traditional culture -- I mean, our science!"

Doesn't change the fact they would still be doing it for food no one wants, and not for science, and that the money would be 1000% better used elsewhere than propping up the few old men who still insist it's necessary because they cannot adapt and do something else.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Or MAYBE Japan was just looking for a legitimate reason to officially get out of the whaling program such as a court order, in order to not bow to Sea Shepherd but safe face and safe money on the useless hunt.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Brian SuttonApr. 01, 2014 - 05:43PM JST

Knowing what Japan does on a regular basis..... I won't surprise me if they do sidestep the ban... Japan LOVES loopholes.

Have you read the ruling? http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/148/18136.pdf

ICJ said JARPA2 is scientific research, but that Japan did not show the justification for the sample size and that, therefore, JARPA2 is in violation of IWC regulations. It does not say anything about other research whaling. It even ruled the sample sizes of fin whales and humpback whales are too small. It seems that all Japan has to do is to show the justification for the sample size.

Paragraph 231 of the ruling cites IWC schedule 10(e) that says moratorium of commercial whaling was to be lifted by 1990 at the latest. Evnironmentalists should keep this over due agreement.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

What is so difficult for you people to understand? Japan wants to hunt whales commercially as a business. Businesses are run to make a profit. Japan has not been able to catch the total amount of whales they wanted to because of the actions of SS. In fact, they have only caught around 20% of the whales they intended to catch in the 10 years that SS has been hounding them. At present there is 5,000 tons of whale meat frozen that they cannot sell because there is no market for it. If SS had not been harassing them and stopped them them filling their quota it is not unrealistic to conclude the 5,000 tons could be 80% more (you can do the math). Does this seem like the portfolio of a commercially viable business? It's like harvesting ice to sell to the Eskimos. Every year they are pouring 5 million bucks of public money (your taxes) into this money pit. How can anyone condone such a ludicrous business structure? And, this comes from a country with the world's largest public debt. Is it any wonder they are so far in the red with BS business practices like this? C'mon people! It's got nothing to do with saving the whales! It's common business sense!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

The purpose of the IWC is:- The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is an international body set up by the terms of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW),[1] which was signed in Washington, D.C., United States, on 2 December 1946 to "provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry"

In other words, the IWC exists to regulate commercial whaling. It is not a anti-whaling organization. Just the opposite. They are only suggesting a moratorium on whaling because they want commercial whaling to be sustainable. Once scientific data (such as those provided by the Japanese research) can determine sustainable whaling, then whale hunting will resume. That is why scientific data on whale population is important.

I hope everyone can see that the IWC is not a anti-whaling group. They want whaling to be a sustainable business for all of its members. It is not driven by conservation considerations.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Yeah Onsen, but it is only sustainable if there is a market to sell the meat after they have killed thousands of whales to obtain it. The basis of any commercial business is, supply and demand! Yeah there is a supply, but there is NO demand! = FAIL!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

There is demand considering that S.Korea and Russia want to resume/increase their own whale hunts.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The TV news about this issue last night was very revealing about the Japanese media.

Every channel I watched presented this as "Japan vs the World"

There was no attempt to get alternative views within Japan... I mean Japanese people who oppose the Antarctic whaling.

It was almost like the children's news... explained from one angle in the simplest terms so that even a child can understand...

I would really love to hear from a Japanese poster... Are you satisfied with such simplistic, biased news reporting?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

If Japan should decide to sidestep this ruling somehow, that would be a disaster for the reputation of Japan, and would only cause more people to send money to Sea Shepherd and some would even boycott Japanese products, which would hurt Japan financially. So it makes absolutely no sense for Japan to be stubborn on this issue, no sense at all.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Not surprising if they do. That has always been their character.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Even if the court ordered Japan to stop completely it's still not lying. Lying means not telling the truth. If Japan says they will stop now, but continue later, then that's obviously not lying. Unless maybe they change their mind in the future.. Call it what you want, but it's certainly not lying.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

When will Japan grow a pair and just leave the IWC already?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

If the government is smart they'll end the subsidy and that will be that. But I suspect they'll try to dance around the court ruling somehow. This government doesn't seem to be all that smart when it comes to international relations. Better to give up on whaling and line up NZ and Oz as happy allies.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Australia, NZ fear Japan may try to sidestep whaling ban

Oh for Heaven's sake you two. Some countries will jump at any chance to bash Japan. They've said they'll abide by the court ruling, so just leave it at that.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The whales will be having a whale of a time next year.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Oh, please! These guys truly are idiots! How can it be considered an important source of food if nobody eats it? How about the 5,000 tons of it rotting away in freezers across the country? How about the fact that is overpriced? How about the fact the only way you'll get rid of the stockpile is to give it away to schools and force kids to eat it? How about the tens of millions of dollars Japan had poured into its whale hunting with no returns what-so-ever? Whaling is not and never will be commercially viable and the sooner these old fogies get it through their thick heads the better off Japan will be. Every country that hunts whales has huge stockpiles of the meat because the supply is much higher than the demand. Just because there are whales there doesn't mean you have to kill them. It's not tradition! It's greed bordering on lunacy!

You don't understand what Japanese Government is doing with Whale meat. Whale meat can store for decades and Whale meat can be used as emergency food for Japanese peoples. After WWII, Japan had suffered food shortage. Whale meat and Whale blubber have saved Japanese children from malnutrition. If you're not Japanese and born in 50s and then you don't understand why Whale hunting is important for Japan.

Now Japan has money and can import foods from oversea but Japan will be vulnerable when Japan can't get foods supply from oversea for some reason. That time Whale meat will be most useful source of protein for Japanese peoples. No one can predict when synchronize natural disaster will strike on nations where Japan is importing meats and other stable foods from. Japanese Government is hunting Whale for Japanese peoples. It's duty of any Government in the world.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Smith,

I watched most of the decision and they haven't used the word loophole. In fact the NZ foreign minister has questioned whether the Japanese will now design a new program that meets the finding of the law. This means it's not a loophole. It also means that if done correctly it is scientific. In fact the court found the following:

Taking into account these observations, the Court is not persuaded that activities must satisfy the four criteria advanced by Australia in order to constitute “scientific research” in the context of Article VIII. As formulated by Australia, these criteria appear largely to reflect what one of the experts that it called regards as well-conceived scientific research, rather than serving as an interpretation of the term as used in the Convention. Nor does the Court consider it necessary to devise alternative criteria or to offer a general definition of “scientific research”.

There is no question that Scientific research is legal under the ruling by the ICJ. It's not a loophole and if Japan so chooses they can start a new whaling programme that meets the criteria of the court.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Heda_MadnessApr. 01, 2014 - 05:39PM JST And they are abiding by the ICJ ruling. And if they establish JAPRA III that will also be adhering to the ICJ's ruling

ICJ is a voluntary organization with no enforcement and no treaty backing of any kind declared a meaningless moratorium with giant fat loopholes. They are in an organization that is strictly voluntary and not backed by any treaty that has declared a “moratorium” on commercial whale hunting. Whale hunting is not banned by international law at all. That “ban” actually means "minor reduction" and Japan knows it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There will be no side-stepping. The ICJ didn't ban whaling in the Southern Ocean, the ruling was specific to JARPA II; e.g., it was not scientific, and Japan must abandon whaling until the program is revamped.

Establishing JARPA III which a much lower quota than JARPA II, which also takes into account non-lethal methods of research does not side-step the ruling.

And they are abiding by the ICJ ruling. And if they establish JAPRA III that will also be adhering to the ICJ's ruling.>

Yup. As long as they can prove that the harvest is scientific in nature, there is no "side-stepping" going on. Also, the court ruled that selling the flesh for food is not illegal as long as the studies are scientific.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Rather surprised by the decision but it appears that legal precedent has been set on lethal method.

"224. The Court finds that the use of lethal sampling per se is not unreasonable in relation to the research objectives of JARPA II..."

Of course, JARPA III is a remote possibility but it's probably time to lift the moratorium which is decades past due, by setting catch limits and restricting area to coastal seas and let the Aust/NZ conduct their non lethal "research" in Southern Ocean.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Isn't revamping, side stepping? But the more important question is why J-gov allows this in the first place.

The study found that liver samples for sale in Japan contained, on average, 370 micrograms of mercury per gram of meat, 900 times the government's limit. Levels detected in kidneys and lungs were approximately 100 times higher than the limit.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

nigelboy Apr. 02, 2014 - 05:51AM JST and let the Aust/NZ conduct their non lethal "research" in Southern Ocean.

They have already started. The Australian Government has provided an alternative through its $32 million, six-year International Whaling and Marine Mammal Conservation Initiatives Program. Key features of this program include the Australian-led Southern Ocean Research Partnership and the setting up the Australian Marine Mammal Centre (AMMC). This initiative will deliver valuable, non-lethal research on a national and international scale demonstrating that whales do not need to be killed in the name of science.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

They have already started. The Australian Government has provided an alternative through its $32 million, six-year International Whaling and Marine Mammal Conservation Initiatives Program. Key features of this program include the Australian-led Southern Ocean Research Partnership and the setting up the Australian Marine Mammal Centre (AMMC). This initiative will deliver valuable, non-lethal research on a national and international scale demonstrating that whales do not need to be killed in the name of science.

Yes. But they failed to collect even one biopsy sample from Minke whales. From a cost performance perspective, strict non-leathal method is simply inefficient.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

nigelboy Apr. 02, 2014 - 07:00AM JST Yes. But they failed to collect even one biopsy sample from Minke whales.

Two different non-lethal ageing methods have been researched extensively. These are: the analyses of lipids (which are naturally-occurring molecules which includes fats, waxes, sterols and fat-soluble vitamins) and of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) in either skin or blubber sampled by biopsy darts from live whales.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

nigelboy: From a cost performance perspective, strict non-lethal method is simply inefficient.

Publishing only two peer-reviewed papers in nine years is my definition of inefficient. I would be sacked for such poor performance, despite receiving just a tiny fraction of the money the Japanese wasted on whale "research" over the same period. Why aren't the clowns responsible for the whaling "research" being fired?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

ScroteApr. 02, 2014 - 09:09AM JST

Why do not you read the ICJ ruling. http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/148/18136.pdf

131 As previously noted, Australia does not challenge the use of lethal research methods per se. Australia accepts that there may be situations in which research objectives can, in fact, require lethal methods, a view also taken by the two experts that it called.

133 The Court notes that the Parties agree that non-lethal methods are not a feasible means to examine internal organs and stomach contents. The Court therefore considers that the evidence shows that, at least for some of the data sought by JARPA II researchers, non-lethal methods are not feasible.

ICJ ruled that Japanese research whaling JARPA2 is scientific research, but is not "for purpose of scientific research." Four judges disagreed to the majority opinion because distinguishing scientific research from [activities] "for purpose of scientific research" is too artificial interpritation of the treaty.

You can read their opinion here. http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?p1=3&p2=3&k=64&case=148&code=aj&p3=4

0 ( +2 / -2 )

the ICJ says that 50 fin whales was probably too little for research but 1000 whales was too much. problem for Japan is that any reduced numbers would make killing them for meat an even more cost ineffective. selling whale meat at a loss when not be viable forever. Japan will need to just quit research and make it commercial and then they can kill as many as they want. its just whether they have the nads to basically say FU to the ICJ, IWC and any nation that is against whaling. since they value the image foreigners have of them. and a bad image will mean less made in Japan good sold. im guessing they dont have the nads to do it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Interestingly, fin whales are endangered (絶滅危惧種). Their population is down 95% from the 1970s.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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