politics

Disappointed Abe says Japan will abide by ruling on whaling

82 Comments

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday he will abide by the court ruling that banned the nation's controversial Antarctic whale hunt.

The conservative leader told Japan's chief whaling negotiator that he would respect the judgement issued this week by the International Court of Justice.

"It is a pity and I am deeply disappointed," Abe was quoted as saying by Japan's chief negotiator Koji Tsuruoka during a meeting at his office.

"But I will follow the ruling," Abe said, according to Tsuruoka, who spoke to reporters after meeting the premier.

Abe's comment came after the United Nations' Hague-based (ICJ) said Monday that Japan's whaling program was a commercial activity disguised as science and said Tokyo must revoke existing whaling licenses.

Australia, backed by New Zealand, hauled Japan before the ICJ in 2010 in a bid to end the annual Southern Ocean hunt.

Tokyo has used a legal loophole in the 1986 ban on commercial whaling that allowed it to continue slaughtering the mammals, ostensibly so it could gather scientific data.

However, it has never made a secret of the fact that the whale meat from these hunts can end on dining tables.

Public consumption of whale meat in Japan has steadily and significantly fallen in recent years and there was little support for whaling itself

But aggressive anti-whaling campaigns hardened sentiment among the Japanese public, who came to see the issue as an attack on differing cultural values.

Some legal experts have suggested Japan might simply redesign its whaling program to skirt the ICJ ruling, but Australia and New Zealand are expected to keep up the diplomatic pressure to ensure Tokyo abides by the spirit of the pronouncement.

Japan has a coastal whaling program which is not covered by the ban.

© (c) 2014 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

82 Comments
Login to comment

I'm interested in why the desire to keep whaling is so strong and how a dead market was still so stubbornly clung to despite embarrassments and hostility from other nations. Is it the humiliation of being told to stop or what you do is wrong?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Good for Abe, class and unlike other leaders that would defy.

-14 ( +7 / -21 )

But aggressive anti-whaling campaigns hardened sentiment among the Japanese public, who came to see the issue as an attack on differing cultural values.

What BS. Did 99% of the population eat whale?

It is a pity and I am deeply disappointed,

Why? Does Abe believe it is good to feed poison to the populous?

10 ( +15 / -5 )

I suspect Abe wasn't all that disappointed. For sure he's a nationalist and would have resented anti-whaling as an affront to Japanese cultural pride. But the whole issue has become a diplomatic nightmare and this way the government can get out of the hole they dug themselves by backing an archaic industry.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

Australia has used the ICJ to succeed in it's goal of destroying the IWC completely. Japan is only a member. The IWC is the only international authority on whaling.

"Dr Ray Gambell (former head of IWC): I have to say at the outset that Japan is not doing anything illegal by catching the whales that it does and it is acting legally within the terms of the Convention that we operate."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/talking_point/forum/817116.stm

-11 ( +10 / -21 )

The reason why Abe is fully sad about the ban, is that the economy may collapse at full, back to the years of imperial military forces

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

The ICJ's ban has Japan on the hook.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

“It is a pity and I am deeply disappointed,”

It's unusual that Abe lost his coolness in public, but given the circumstance It’s understandable why Abe fumed by ICJ' ruling.

On the one hand, Abe, at the core, is a nationalist; such widely publicized defeat of Japan in the international stage on Japanese core culture practtice must hurt his pride, on the other hand, ICJ’s ruling is binding one, which leaves Japan no much “wiggle” room.

But, Abe may be still able to find a silver inning in this event; Japan abides by the rule of law, not claims.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Look at the bright side Abe san - chance to cut a little bit of wasteful govt. spending and proclaim fiscal responsibility.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

EthanWilberApr. 03, 2014 - 08:04AM JST ICJ’s ruling is binding one, which leaves Japan no much “wiggle” room.

Binding one? How are you going to enforce the 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.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

ICJ is a voluntary organization with no enforcement and no treaty backing of any kind declared a meaningless moratorium with giant fat loopholes.

I think you're confusing the ICJ with the IWC. The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the UN and has never 'declared a meaningless moratorium with giant fat loopholes'.

From the ICJ website - The judgment is final, binding on the parties to a case and without appeal

"Dr Ray Gambell (former head of IWC): I have to say at the outset that Japan is not doing anything illegal by catching the whales that it does and it is acting legally within the terms of the Convention that we operate."

So yet another person in favour of commercial whaling got it wrong. Why bother quoting him? In the interview you link to he also brushes aside the very idea of humane slaughter methods as if it didn't matter, states that Japan in 2000 was 'fully utilising' the whales it took for 'research' (clearly wrong, since all they took was the meat) and seems to acknowledge that Japanese whaling is basically on a cultural level with the practice of bear-baiting that used to go on in the UK but has long been abandoned on account of its barbarity.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

cleo Apr. 03, 2014 - 08:29AM JST The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the UN and has never 'declared a meaningless moratorium with giant fat loopholes'.

The Court has no feasible way to make states abide by its rulings, so it relies on voluntary compliance. The Court could call on the UN Security Council to authorize military enforcement action, but this would probably do more harm than good. The Court has never taken and probably will never take this action.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@sfjp330

Binding one? ICJ is a voluntary organization with no enforcement and no treaty backing

All UN members have a duty to abide by ICJ rulings.

How are you going to enforce the ruling?

The security council has the ability to enforce such rulings (unless vetoed).

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Australia has used the ICJ to succeed in it's goal of destroying the IWC completely.

Good for Australia, then.

"Dr Ray Gambell (former head of IWC): I have to say at the outset that Japan is not doing anything illegal by catching the whales that it does and it is acting legally within the terms of the Convention that we operate."

So? What else would you expect someone involved in whaling to say?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

The Yasukuni right wingers will be furious but since their numbers are even less than the people who even eat whale meat that won't be much of a problem. Various groups are already asking or demanding that Japan leaves the IWC and does what it wants to?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

banz 10Apr. 03, 2014 - 08:39AM JST All UN members have a duty to abide by ICJ rulings. The security council has the ability to enforce such rulings (unless vetoed).

Get your facts right. It's all talk. There has never been any enforcement.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@sfjp330

Get your facts right. It's all talk. There has never been any enforcement.

I DO have my facts right! The UN certainly does have the ability to enforce such a ruling if it chose to. In reality it probably wouldn't but the FACTS are that it could. International law is such a grey area and you could argue that the UN is fairly toothless anyway. The problem for Japan however is that it has much bigger fish (excuse the pun) to fry and it wouldn't want to risk isolation over such a comparably trivial issue.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

It is only early days for this ruling. I would not get overly hopeful that Abe will keep his word. There are vested interests in this industry that appear to have the ear of the Govt. I live in hope that it is ended, but am still concerned that there will be more to come out of this.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

NHK reports that what was rejected was Japanese whale research "in its current form" (not sure what the original English is). It did not reject whale research. So expect a redesigned program for next year.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Abe and his government are happy about this ruling. In public they say they are disappointed but in fact they are relieved. Every year this was a PR disaster for Japan, and whaling needed a lot of public money to keep it running. They could not end it by themselves. Nationalistic pressure would be too great and the right wing press would hunt them for this. Now they saved the face and can blame it on the foreigners.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Now the Institute of Cetacean "Research" should be hauled before international courts, and charged with poaching and animal cruelty.

At least now your countries good people won't suffer the embarrassment of being patently dishonest.

Save the whales!

1 ( +7 / -6 )

oldman_13

Good for Abe, class and unlike other leaders that would defy.

I'm just curious... Do you REALLY believe he's not going to defy ?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday he will abide by the court ruling that banned the nation’s controversial Antarctic whale hunt.

The reporter should have read the ICJ ruling before writing this article. http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/148/18136.pdf

69 The Court observes that, in applying the above standard of review, it is not called upon to resolve matters of scientific or whaling policy. The Court is aware that members of the international community hold divergent views about the appropriate policy towards whales and whaling, but it is not for the Court to settle these differences. The Court’s task is only to ascertain whether the special permits granted in relation to JARPA II fall within the scope of Article VIII, paragraph 1, of the ICRW.

Technically, the ruling is only about JARPA2, and is not about research whaling in general.

If you further read the ICJ ruling, you can find that the court found that JARPA2 is scientific research, that scientific research is different from activities "for purpose of scientific research", that JARPA2 is not activities for purpose of scientific research because Japan did not explain to the court the scientific justification of the sample sizes, and that the sample sizes of the lethal study of fin whales and humpback whales are too small to be justified as activities for purpose of scientific research.

The spirit of the ruling is that Japan should have explained to the court the justification of the sample sizes. For anyone who has actually read the ruling, there is plenty of room for JARPA3. The problem is that most people do not read the ruling.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

This AFP article is exceedingly inaccurate and misleading in content.

Abe's comment came after the United Nations' Hague-based (ICJ) said Monday that Japan’s whaling program was a commercial activity disguised as science

The ICJ didn't say that anywhere in the summary of the ICJ judgment:

http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/148/18160.pdf

The only mentions of the word "disguise" in the document come from the Chinese judge (who sided with the 12-4 majority) and judge Yusuf (who was one of the dissents). Neither of them concluded that Japan's program was commercial whaling in disguise. The Chinese judge thought Japan didn't do enough to justify it's quotas as being for scientific purposes, whereas Judge Yusuf didn't think Australia had proved it's allegation.

Some legal experts have suggested Japan might simply redesign its whaling program to skirt the ICJ ruling

Well what experts they must be - the ICJ decision summary itself says this!!

In the view of the Court, as that obligation already applies to all States parties, it is to be expected that Japan will take account of the reasoning and conclusions contained in this Judgment as it evaluates the possibility of granting any future permits under Article VIII, paragraph 1, of the Convention.

Clearly the ICJ jugdment does not seek to deny the issuance of further special permits, indeed it seems to foresee it.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

CH3CHO

there's also the spirit of the law and ruling.

Basically, Japan's research whaling in the Antarctic is over, gone. Get over it.

No JARPA 3, no amendments, its over and on a commercial buying of whale meat how many people even care about it?

Its been an enormous waste of public funds and the pseudo science papers costing trillions which in future could be better used to improve the fishing industry which employs many more than the 200 or so involved in whaling.

I think even if Japan leaves the IWC and returns to commercial whaling, which it never gave up, will feel the anger of the international community.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

The simple fact that without massive taxpayer funding, whaling is not commercially sustainable, is a compelling argument to stop the program. It is obvious they kept pouring public money to the system for all these years because there were non-economic reasons to it (nationalism, keeping afloat a dying industry for electoral reasons, etc.).

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I spoke to a number of my colleagues about this and quite a large number of them were against the ban and cited attacks on Japanese culture even though they hadn't themselves ever eaten whale or knew anything about the whaling industry in Japan. Again, the Japanese media is showing they have some sort of silly agenda in their reporting over whaling.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

“It is a pity and I am deeply disappointed,”

Public consumption of whale meat in Japan has steadily and significantly fallen in recent years and there was little support for whaling itself.

For any rational person, the second point would make the first one hard to understand. If there is no demand for the meat, and little public support, why is it a pity and a cause for deep disappointment? Seems like the ICJ has done the J-government/LDP a favor and removed one of its most controversial international issues from the agenda. Now they do not have to cow-tow to the whaling folks just to score political points.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

The simple fact that without massive taxpayer funding, whaling is not commercially sustainable, is a compelling argument to stop the program

It's a compelling argument to resume commercial whaling and let the operators take the risk, if according to the anti whalers arguments, there won't be any.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

OssanAmerica,

I see that's a 14 year old article, whereas the ICJ case was concerned with JARPA II which started 10 years ago.

Take a read through the summary link of the ICJ judgment I posted. Japan has had JARPA II struck out, and will surely abide. Japan is not China, Russia or North Korea.

But that's no big deal really. I think what this means is that you'll see a JARPA III designed to cover points raised by the ICJ 12-4 majority decision. The ICJ in ruling against JARPA II, also recognized the necessity of lethal sampling methods (something Australia had denied) so even Japan comes out of the decision with some positives. They just need to produce a better research plan next time, and execute it.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

For any rational person, the second point would make the first one hard to understand. If there is no demand for the meat, and little public support, why is it a pity and a cause for deep disappointment?

If people like Abe use the "culture" argument, then you can be sure that they're not being rational.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

It's quite amazing to read all the arguments supporting Japanese whaling. All that crap from legal mumbojumbo to culture and tradition mean absolutely nothing! The reality is, Japan does not need a huge whaling program because nobody eats the stuff. Whaling can never be commercially viable if there is no market to sell the meat. That is the fail of Japanese whaling!

5 ( +9 / -4 )

There's no reason at all why something should be protected or defended, just because it's culture. In fact, it's a logical fallacy. Irrational. You're defending the indefensible.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

CHOCHO3

The spirit of the ruling is that Japan should have explained to the court the justification of the sample sizes. For anyone who has actually read the ruling, there is plenty of room for JARPA3. The problem is that most people do not read the ruling.

Conservative NHK towed this line too; it's not a failure of the government to 'justify' or explain the catch size, the court said to Japan; according to scientists there is no reason to kill as many whales as Japan does (or tries to do), so why is your quota so high? Japan had no answer simply because the truth is they wanted to maintain commercial whaling under false pretences and ant 'science' was just an (ineffective) cover.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

gokai_wo_manekuAPR. 03, 2014 - 09:18AM JST NHK reports that what was rejected was Japanese whale research "in its current form" (not sure what the original English is). It did not reject whale research. So expect a redesigned program for next year.

The only legitimate way they could continue is if the program had a more scientifically small quota, include non-lethal methods and increase spending on the research. All of which would make any whaling even more costly to the public and increase the price thus lower consumption even further so why would they even bother - dead horse.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

zichiApr. 03, 2014 - 09:48AM JST

I have pointed out several times already, but "research" whaling should not be "commercially" profitable. You keep saying that research whaling should be stopped because it is not commercially profitable. I find your argument contradicting and least persuasive.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

OssanAmerica,

I see that's a 14 year old article,

fxgai -- you've caught on.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The way the Japanese media presented Abe's announcement took a typically defensive, pro-government perspective; poor Japan, victims of foreign cultural imperialism yet again. No protests for accountability by the government for lying to the public about it's whaling program as a legitimate scientific program, no demands for heads to fly or for a public inquiry. Instead they interviewed restaurant owners and whale meat lovers to record their disappointment at foreigners taking away their right to continue their culture.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I've never understood how Antarctic whaling, which Japan only started in the 1930's - after they were taught how to do it by the Norwegians - ever got confused as being some ancient cultural tradition.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

CH3CHO

No I'm clearly saying Japanese whale hunting in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean, whether its called research whaling or not is over, finished. Just get over it.

Japan can hunt for whales in the North Pacific and coastal waters and import whale meat from Iceland and Norway to feed the needs of the few who eat the stuff.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

letsberealisticApr. 03, 2014 - 10:13AM JST

The only legitimate way they could continue is if the program had a more scientifically small quota, include non-lethal methods and increase spending on the research.

Yeah, I think they are considering JARPA3 in that line. It is nice to have something to agree with you.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

CH3CHOAPR. 03, 2014 - 10:23AM JST letsberealisticApr. 03, 2014 - 10:13AM JST The only legitimate way they could continue is if the program had a more scientifically small quota, include non-lethal methods and increase spending on the research. Yeah, I think they are considering JARPA3 in that line. It is nice to have something to agree with you.

Yes, but do you honestly think they would go ahead with JARPA III given the increased costs and risk of further international embarrassment and political pressure?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

A picture of his disappointed face would have been good. Oh, wait, he always looks hangdog and disappointed....

1 ( +3 / -2 )

letsberealisticApr. 03, 2014 - 10:27AM JST

Yes, but do you honestly think they would go ahead with JARPA III given the increased costs and risk of further international embarrassment and political pressure?

I think they are more likely than not to stop the research whaling. But I have to see how the argument develops in the government.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Some Japanese people do not like whale meat, i'd bet. I mean shrimp, crab, fish taste better. Kobe beef. and chicken, Some people are vegetarians. Abe? maybe he does not eat whale? I'd bet it has nothing to do with conservative or liberal. Just some Japanese prefer tasty seafood than whale. I don't believe only conservative eat whale meat.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The only legitimate way they could continue is if the program had a more scientifically small quota, include non-lethal methods and increase spending on the research.

Yeah, I think they are considering JARPA3 in that line.

The only legitimate way they could continue is if the programme was genuinely for purposes of scientific research, which as it's obvious the purpose of the programme, whether it's called JARPA II, JARPA III or Genuine Scientific Research With No Barely-Hidden Agenda Honest is to bring home the bacon (and other edible bits), isn't possible.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Having just watched a video on a young whale being saved from an enormous nylon fishing net off the coast of Mexico, it hurts me even more to think about these pseudo-scientists saying it's all for "research"... It took five people more than an hour to free her but if you saw the spectacular "dance" she did afterwards to "thank" them, you'd really wonder how these people could continue slaughtering them... There are so many "other" fish in the sea that are actually better for eating !

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Culture should never be used as an excuse to illegally hunt whales in the sanctuary as the Japanese whalers have done year after year without being punished. So get over it and accept reality and leave the whales near the Antarctic in peace.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Cannibalism is an ancient cultural tradition that the people of the world also agreed to do without. Is stopping the traditional slaughter of whales that we are now coming to realize are the most intelligent beings on our planet any different? Why should we not try to behave better than our ancestors?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Now, the question is: Will the SS terrorists abide by any laws? I doubt it!

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

zichi,

No I'm clearly saying Japanese whale hunting in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean, whether its called research whaling or not is over, finished.

If you are just getting that from reading this AFP article, then you've been misled. Check out the link I posted above from the ICJ.

If Japan wanted to end whaling in the Antarctic, they would have ended it themselves already. For whatever reasons, they have been doing it. I don't see that ICJ striking out their JARPA II special permits changes that, why do you?

If anything, I'd say they have a strong incentive to actually put together a frikkin' awesome research program, so as to show that they can do it. In striking out JARPA II the ICJ decision recognized legitimate uses for research whaling. So it'd be far more embarrassing for Japan to just let it slide and have people think that it was just a cover for commercial whaling all along.

Just get over it.

You come across as being strongly against whaling, and I'd respectfully suggest that you probably have a case of wishful thinking. Don't take it too bad if indeed Japan does come up with a revised research program.

Look, I'm not saying what I want to happen... Just calling the situation as I see it. So go ahead and thumb me down again y'all if you'll feel better for it!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@CGB Spender

Now, the question is: Will the SS terrorists abide by any laws? I doubt it!

I don't think that's the question at all but SS will feel vindicated and encouraged by their actions even if they had nothing at all to do with the ICJ ruling.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

banz10,

It seems SS did in a way have something to do with the decision, because the 12-4 majority noted a failure to catch as many whales as planned as a shortcoming of JARPA II.

So you can bet your boots that SS will be encouraged to attack further research work.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@fxgai

If Japan wanted to end whaling in the Antarctic, they would have ended it themselves already.

"We have decided to cancel research whaling for the fiscal year starting in April because of the recent ruling," a Japanese fisheries agency official said today.

That's not indefinite but as they've already ruled out any such whaling up to March 2015 it would seem that any future resumption attempts in the Southern Ocean are fairly unrealistic. I think Abe would be quite happy to sweep this one under the carpet.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

banz10,

Looks like you dug up a new headline, I hadn't seen that.

You're right, it's not indefinite, but it's not like they can come up with a new research program overnight that covers the ICJ ruling anyway. I still think it's likely they will be working on a new plan.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Good for Abe. This will only help Japan's standing in the world.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@fxgai

No doubt the whalers would be working on new plans and will be pressuring Abe to support them. In turn, nationalist Abe would love to be able to accommodate his conservative constituents. But he knows it's just not worth it anymore. The fact is even with limited catches, supply still far outweighs demand for whale meat. As much as the right wing leaning media here try to spin it into an affront on Japanese culture and tradition, the reality is most Japanese won't lose any sleep over this.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

fxgaiAPR. 03, 2014 - 12:24PM JST zichi,

If Japan wanted to end whaling in the Antarctic, they would have ended it themselves already. For whatever reasons, they have been doing it. I don't see that ICJ striking out their JARPA II special permits changes that, why do you?

Umm, because it is a waste of tax-payers money, fuels anti-Japanese sentiment and political friction around the world, serves no purpose but to keep a few men in work and panders to some conservative leaders misplaced sense of pride.

If anything, I'd say they have a strong incentive to actually put together a frikkin' awesome research program, so as to show that they can do it.

If they were capable of doing "a frikkin' awesome research program" then why haven't they up to now?!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The win here for Abe is if he can spin this around and put China's claims over the Senkaku's in perspective.

If Japan can show that it will follow the rule of law, China loses a few legs to stand on by claiming ownership over the islands. Japan can say "Well, take your case to the ICJ" knowing full well that China would fail to make a compelling case.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Neo_Rio

I agree that Abe would be looking at the bigger picture. However, even though China has acted belligerently over the Senkaku islands they could make a compelling case... as could Taiwan for that matter.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The market died after 1986 when IWC and US put a ban on Japaneses commercial whaling and whale price in market went extremely high. They didn't stop eating whales by themselves but was forced to stop. Japan is an island country which depends on import for most amount of its food . If some conflicts happened between Japan and other countries and trading stopped, it couldn't feed itself. One of the reasons of research whaling is to gain evidence to prove that there are enough whales to resume whaling.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

banz10,

Personally I don't find that especially persuasive, I doubt Abe see's it that way.

How do you reconcile the Icelanders finding a market for their wares with this purported glut of meat on the market?

This purported glut of meat on the market sounds like it's just wishful thinking on the side of those who are dead against whaling. There were some figures noted on previous stories that showed the amount of meat dropped from above 4K tons to around 2.4K tons in just over a year. It's hardly a case of the meat not being eaten, and in comparison with hundreds of thousands of tons of other products this blubber mountain is hardly anything.

igloobuyer,

None of that is new - all of that existed before the ICJ struck out JARPA II. Those arguments didn't see Japan stop whaling by itself, so I don't expect it'll prevent them from designing an improved research program.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@fxgai

There are over 5,000 tonnes of unsold whale meat kept in frozen storage in Japan and that's not "purported'. Google it! Around 75% of last season's meagre catch was unsold. Abe would love to appease the neocons in the fishing industry but what can be done when the vast majority of the population have never even sampled whale meat? It's a dying industry which has only survived thanks to the financial backing of the government. I think Abe has the excuse now to get out while saving face with his constituents.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

If they were capable of doing "a frikkin' awesome research program" then why haven't they up to now?!

Because they thought the Article VIII loophole was enough to cover them.

12-4 majority noted a failure to catch as many whales as planned as a shortcoming of JARPA II.

I think that's a misrepresentation of the issue as set out in the judgement.

Judge Greenwood's analysis of why JARPAII fails to come up to scratch as a serious scientific programme addresses this point in a way that is easy to understand:

http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/148/18150.pdf (Paragraphs 24 to 27)

Japan claimed that an important objective of JARPAII was "modelling competition among whale species", which obviously necessitates samples from multiple species of whale. Not only was the proposed 850 minke, 50 fin and 50 humpback not a balanced sample, there is no way the actual take of a couple of hundred minke, 0-3 fin and 0 humpback could be used for "modelling competition among whale species", yet year after year no effort was made to adjust the programme to match reality or rethink the objectives, a clear indication that the 'scientific research' was not the purpose for which the whales were being killed.

'All they need to do is kill more whales (guffaw guffaw)' is a rather infantile response by pro-whalers who I suspect have not read (or understood) the judgement.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Whaling ship Nisshin Maru refitted two years ago for ¥20 billion now going cheap, anyone interested?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

What else can he do? If he does not accept the ruling it would become even more obvious that he is a born liar.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm just curious on what type of "scientific research" requires the killing of so many whales. And how did those types of scientific research benefit the propagation of whale,the eco-system and mankind. If you were to tell me the scientific research is to find out more ways to use "whales" for "food consumption", "fuel" or "cosmetic" products, then we have a serious problem on what constitute as scientific research for a legitimate economic and scientific purpose.

Legitimate scientific research is one thing, masking the term as to your own economic or cultural benefit is another. The spirit of the law requires a reasonable standard on morality as well as technicality. You can't argue for one and fail to address for the other.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

banz10,

My point is that the 5,000 tonnes figure you might find on Google was recently at 2,400 tonnes. nigelboy produced the figures: http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/sea-shepherd-campaigners-return-after-anti-whaling-mission#comment_1752247

So it is indisputable that some people eat this stuff (not that it is a daily staple - this is a niche market at best), therefore there is likely a constituency in Japan that expects the government to keep working at this whaling issue.

Of course Abe might call it quits, but if I were a betting man (and it were legal in Japan) my money would be on Abe instructing his charges to produce come up with a research design that checks all the boxes. Evidently they thought they had done so with JARPA II, I suspect they will try again. As I said in my earlier comment, the ICJ decision suggests this is an option.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Ossan: "Australia has used the ICJ to succeed in it's goal of destroying the IWC completely"

And yet you demand certain island disputes be brought to the ICJ, do you not? And leave it to Ossan to provide a link to an article that is a decade and a half old and before changes were put into place.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

highball,

A large range of information is needed for the management and conservation of whales, such as population, age structure, growth rates, age of maturity, reproductive rates, feeding, nutrition and levels of contaminants. This type of important information cannot be obtained through small DNA samples or analysis of organochlorine, but only through lethal research.

There have been dozens of scientific reports and information made available to the public in brochures on the findings of the Japanese research program. The difficulty faced by the Japanese researchers is the interest of western media, who have failed to run stories in newspapers etc about the results. The results are available on http://www.icrwhale.org/eng-index.htm

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Sure people don't eat whale as much, essentially making the demand for edible whale meat almost 0 and is becoming a dead market yes. BUT, if that was the only reason for whaling they would have stopped long ago. Whale can be used for an extremely wide range of products, every morsel of the whale is used, nothing goes to waste as some believe it goes uneaten and is somewhere in a freezer not being used. It is used, just not for human consumption.

I was once been to a natural history museum where they explained historical whaling and uses for whale: Whale oil from the blubber has a wide variety of uses, even today. In the head of the sperm whale there is a special oil that is highly prized for it's high quality and can be used in high end cosmetics and cosmetic surgery. Baleen or "whalebone" was like the plastic of the 1800s. Other non-baleen whales the teeth are used as ivory and used for high quality chess pieces and piano keys to mention a few.

Anyway, it's about the other uses for whales, not the meat.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

James Dean

Anyway, it's about the other uses for whales, not the meat.

If you say so.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

bamboo pinkAPR. 03, 2014 - 06:32PM JST highball, A large range of information is needed for the management and conservation of whales, such as population, age structure, growth rates, age of maturity, reproductive rates, feeding, nutrition and levels of contaminants. This type of important information cannot be obtained through small DNA samples or analysis of organochlorine, but only through lethal research.

Yes, about 20 years ago, now they use more modern technologies of research (blubber core samples, mucus and faeces samples, satalite imagining etc.) which do not require actually killing the animal. Get with the program Japan!

There have been dozens of scientific reports and information made available to the public in brochures on the findings of the Japanese research program. The difficulty faced by the Japanese researchers is the interest of western media, who have failed to run stories in newspapers etc about the results. The results are available on http://www.icrwhale.org/eng-index.htm

No, there has been very little research papers published by Japan, that's precisely why the international ruling demand they stop. It's nothing to do with western newspapers not running stories about Japanese whale research - there is no research material in the scientific community let alone the media.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Yes, about 20 years ago, now they use more modern technologies of research (blubber core samples, mucus and faeces samples, satalite imagining etc.) which do not require actually killing the animal. Get with the program Japan!

How many biopsy samples of Minke whales were retrieved by the non-lethal multi million dollar "research" project conducted in 2010?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Politics. Pure politics. There is no strong anti-whaling faction in Japan to offend. So he just appeases the right-wingers with a statement of regret., since they will see this as gaiatsu from foreigners who just don't understand Japan's need to rape oceans and mainland Asian women alike. And it will be the same when Japan is ordered to stop overfishing tuna into extinction.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Whale is delicious... Just saying

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Ossan, "Australia has used the ICJ to succeed in it's goal of destroying the IWC completely." It's about time somebody did! At least the Aussies have had the guts to stand up for something that is in the interests of the worlds ecology. But it is probably too early for you to be too disappointed because I'm sure the current Japanese govt will find a loop hole, or just increase their efforts in other areas of the ocean in an effort to desecrate the whale population for the sake of their national pride at the cost of what they don't care about, which is the interests of the rest of the world.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I follow this issue closely and I find my curiosity keeps coming back to 1 point really...

Are whales a real competitor for fish catch? Because I've seen and heard research from both sides. I would like a Research Off to bring closure to the issue. My friends' uncle said a whale came up and swallowed his entire catch between two trawlers and he made eye contact with the whale while doing so and couldn't do anything about it. It's all about context. I could totally see a whale watcher say they saw the majesty of God's creation when looking into this intelligent being's eye, while the robbed fisherman would claim the whale would have flipped him off while stealing his catch it if had only evolved middle fingers atop the end of it's flippers.

If human life is valued higher than animal life, if you teas this argument out, if whales are serious competition for fish catch, then a solid argument CAN be made for pest control of species of whales that aren't endangered like the Antarctic Minke Whale.

I think I'm being very objective here. If you have an issue with what I say, I hope you are both vegan and have no kids because otherwise I am looking down on you atop my moral high ground.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It looks like the Antarctic whales will have parties after parties from now on ...singing eating multiplying... until people attitude change at the sight of too many whales and at the demand for fish worldwide.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

anbinh...whales are mammals, not fish, y'know.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

don't you get it : too many whales will consume too many fish , hence little left for mankind.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

CGB Spender - Now, the question is: Will the SS terrorists abide by any laws? I doubt it!

The eco-terrorist SS have never abided by any laws before so there is no reason to believe that they will abide by any laws in the future. Violence is their way of life. Violence is their answer to everything.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites