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New Zealand PM wants Japan apology in whaling dispute

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New Zealand should be apologizing to Japan for supporting an Eco-Terrorist organization engaged in acts of Piracy and allowing them to operate in New Zealand's EEZ and harass the Japanese fleet in violation of a US Court Restraining Order to keep 500 yards away from them. Then they should explain why any apology from Japan is needed if New Zealand recognizes that any foreign vessel may legally transit their EEZ if they are not engaged in any resource taking activity.

-3 ( +18 / -19 )

I really can't understand the logic for demanding an apology when Japan had done nothing illegal against international norm.

I can somehow understand NZ being frustrated putting up a political show towards their constituents but this is completely off base in terms of international diplomacy. Do NZ somehow believe their words are up and higher then international law?

If they do then it's high time to get off the high stool since they are over their heads.

7 ( +18 / -11 )

While the vessel was legally entitled to sail in the EEZ, the ministry said it had been made clear to Japanese officials before it entered the waters Friday that it was not welcome.

No doubt the Japanese side has made it's stance on the Sea Shepherd eco-terrorists clear to the New Zealanders.

So perhaps both sides should apologise to the other.

But considering this is a ridiculous non-issue, maybe not?

Right about now would be a fantastic time for the ICJ decision to come out, and red-face one of the two parties!

-4 ( +5 / -8 )

New Zealand is barking up the wrong tree on this one. Instead of pandering to the tree-hugging hippies and slinging stones at Tokyo, who is well within its rights under international law at the current time, if New Zealand (and others) are serious about taking on Japan, they should be playing for keeps at the IWC. Don't get me wrong, I am against whaling, but I don't understand why a bunch of eco-terrorists such as Sea Shepherd hold such sway in the halls of power.

11 ( +19 / -8 )

I find it strange that all these posters saying New Zealand has no right asking for an apology are the same ones that support Japan when it complains about China entering its EEZ. So just so l have this straight Japan may enter any other nations EEZ and that's ok. China or Korea enters Japan's EEZ = bad. Oh the irony!!!

0 ( +13 / -13 )

@AdamInOz

The difference is Japan never demanded an apology against PRC by just crossing EEZ. Japan had voiced various concerns but never expressed it against PRC unless it was grave importance like the unilateral announcement of AIZ, violation of entering TERRITORIAL waters, Lock on of firing radars against a JMSDF ship, etc.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

The AFP's agenda on this subject is proven by their headline.

'It would be good' is not the same as wanting an apology.

The NZ news give this story the little credibility it deserves.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

AdamInOzFeb. 12, 2014 - 09:53AM JST I find it strange that all these posters saying New Zealand has no right asking for an apology are the same ones that support Japan when it complains about China entering its EEZ. -----------------------------------------------------------------------

Hardly the same situation is it ?

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

The foreign ministry said the ship did not enter New Zealand’s territorial waters, which extend 12 nautical miles from the coast, but did breach its EEZ, which covers a region 12 to 200 nautical miles offshore.

Unless the Shonan Maru 2 was actually conducting whaling (which it wasn't) in the NZ's EEZ, it did absolutely nothing wrong, illegal, or even objectionable. There's no "breach" of any kind here because it was nothing more than innocent passage.

While the vessel was legally entitled to sail in the EEZ, the ministry said it had been made clear to Japanese officials before it entered the waters Friday that it was not welcome.

Not welcome? That's nice Mr. Prime Minister. Now go read the UNCLOS since you haven't a clue what's in it.

2 ( +11 / -10 )

Japan may enter any other nations EEZ and that's ok. China or Korea enters Japan's EEZ = bad. Oh the irony!!!

So many double standards these nationalists have. While I admit Sea Shepherds are approaching the issue wrong way, so does Shonan Maru 2 defending the whaling with the excuses such as scientific research, cultural tradition or shortage of food.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Vicinosaka,

So how is it different exactly? Japan enters NZ EEZ and NZ gets annoyed. The pro Japan pro whaling crowd here say tough luck NZ. China enters Japan's EEZ, Japan jumps up and down and says how regrettable. The pro Japan anti China crowd ( the same ones as above) condemn China and call for blood. Maybe go read the likes of OssanAmericas comments to compare it's very amusing the hypocrisy

0 ( +9 / -9 )

“That would be good,” he told reporters when questioned about whether Japan needed to say sorry.

That's a long way from "demanding an apology".

9 ( +9 / -0 )

UsnInJapan,

Innocent passage hey. That would indicate it was transiting the area not entering it with the intentions of harassing another vessel. Innocent passage applies to transmitting an area to get from point a to point b NOT what the Japanese vessel was doing. Maybe next time a NZ Naval vessel could express NZs displeasure a bit more bluntly

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

AdamInOz

Anything that doesn't specifically violate EEZ restrictions, i.e. commercial activity like fishing, mining, etc., is by default innocent passage. I suggest you stick to what you do know which clearly isn't high seas navigation or maritime jurisdictions. The fact that the Shonan Maru 2 happened to be following a Sea Shepherd vessel is incidental and completely irrelevant legally. As for a Kiwi naval vessel taking any action against the SM2 in this instance, it would be extra-jurisdictional and not at all lawful. The Oz and Kiwi governments know better than you; that's why they don't/haven't ever taken any direct action with their navies or coast guards when ships belonging to the ICR's fleet are transiting through their EEZs.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Wow, many of the JT readers have jumped on the media's bandwagon of making something from nothing.

All the PM said was "that would be good", and suddenly he's "demanding Japan's apology" ?

That's drawing a very long bow.

In any case, let's not forget they entered New Zealand's economic zone, I'd like to see Japan's response if China sent a few fishing boats innocently into Japan's economic zone. Quick Scramble the Jets!

New Zealand should be apologizing to Japan for supporting an Eco-Terrorist organization engaged in acts of Piracy

This is not even true, the NZ and Australian governments have repeatedly opposed the violent tactics used by Sea Shepard. What NZ does support is the protection of endangered species.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

NZguy

In any case, let's not forget they entered New Zealand's economic zone, I'd like to see Japan's response if China sent a few fishing boats innocently into Japan's economic zone.

Countless fishing vessels from many nations, including China, transit through Japanese EEZ on their way to the open Pacific Ocean every hour of every day and it's not an issue as long as they don't actually conduct fishing operations within the EEZ. That's why you DON"T hear about the numerous aforementioned fishing vessels who are following the law but DO hear about the ones that are busted poaching fish or coral inside of the EEZ and are apprehended by the Japan Coast Guard. For the millionth time, the vessels from the ICR fleet have every right to go in and out of and through another nation's EEZ as long as they are not actually catching whales there. They have as much of a legal right to be there as the Sea Shepherd vessels. You and AdamInOz really need to educate yourselves on what is and isn't legally permitted by the UNCLOS if you're going to talk trash on this subject.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Whilst the Shonan Maru 2 was not directly involved in commercial activities in New Zealand's EEZ it was indirectly involved as its purpose in entering the EEZ was to assist Japanese commercial whaling elsewhere. It was not simply transiting the EEZ en route to somewhere else.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Scrote

No rational government would interpret it that way and any that does would quickly be quashed by the UN.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I don't understand why a bunch of eco-terrorists such as Sea Shepherd hold such sway in the halls of power.

NZ does not support Sea Shepherd and this issue has nothing to do with SS so why do people bring it up? NZ made it clear to Tokyo that it did not want any Japanese whaling ships into Japanese waters because NZ'ers are wild animal conservationists and whale watching is an important part of their tourist industry.

Japan ignored and disrespected NZ's requests; it's just rude and disrespectful basically. Japan continues to sail around the South Pacific making enemies.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

A coastal nation, in this case NZ, has treaty obligation to let foreign ships pass through its EEZ, as long as the foreign ships do not conduct economic activities. Apologizing would set a very dangerous precedent for any nation, including NZ and Japan, in the would.

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea - Part V. Read Article 58. http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/part5.htm

While the vessel was legally entitled to sail in the EEZ, the ministry said it had been made clear to Japanese officials before it entered the waters Friday that it was not welcome.

Does this mean NZ does not welcome Japanese ships while it welcomes Sea Shepherd, lead by an internationally wanted criminal?

4 ( +10 / -5 )

John Key: The Japanese Ambassador is on his way! Someone get me a wet bus ticket and get it now! I am very, very, slightly, or not really, annoyed at all, but I need to look statesman like on 6 PM News.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Chinese violations = BAD

Japanese violations = GOOD

What total male bovine manure from Japan.

-2 ( +6 / -9 )

" the whaling ship Shonan Maru 2 entered the EEZ as it was chasing the Sea Shepherd protest vessel Steve Irwin." Why was the Shonan Maru 2 chasing the Sea Shepherd ship, and what did they intend to do if they caught up to the Steve Irwin? Was the intention to ram and sink it as they did to the Sea Shepherd's boat the Ady Gil? There's obviously more to this story than written here.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

"New Zealand should be apologizing to Japan for supporting an Eco-Terrorist organization engaged in acts of Piracy and allowing them to operate in New Zealand's EEZ and harass the Japanese fleet "

Yes, and in addition to apologizing perhaps NZ should also thank Japan for advancing "science" and spreading Japanese traditional culture in its waters while they are at it.

I find it strange that all these posters saying New Zealand has no right asking for an apology are the same ones that support Japan when it complains about China entering its EEZ.

It`s quite easy Adam - on planet ossan and co., Japan can never be in the wrong no matter what it does. It is always the other side, Japan is always the innocent party that the likes of NZ, China, SK etc. continue to bully for no reason whatsoever. There is no room to compromise on this reality :)

-3 ( +5 / -9 )

Well said Marcelito, they seem be be perpetual Japan apologists and it's amusing to see the double standards. One just needs to read their comments to other stories to see that contradiction

2 ( +6 / -4 )

It`s quite easy Adam - on planet ossan and co., Japan can never be in the wrong no matter what it does

Being a bit pedantic aren't we?

Of course, there are a whole list of issues on which Japan is wrong, starting with international parental abductions and ending with revisionist histories, etc. If you want a fisheries-related issue, what about bringing up the species genocide of tuna stocks (particularly Southern Bluefin Tuna) through Japanese criminal manipulation of data?

However, in this case Tokyo is not at fault under international law as it now stands.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

HongoTAFEinmate However, in this case Tokyo is not at fault under international law as it now stands.

Ah, where is there a dispute about any laws in this article? Think you mighht be on the wrong page. The issues is with common international courtesy and respect for other nations wishes while hanging around their waters.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Attacking another ship is not innocent passage. NZ would be in their right to intervene in this case. My guess is the Japanese ship had weapons on board and was intent on attacking possibly sinking the SS ship. There had to be a reason for the SS ship to run. As for being "legal" international law is not always clear cut. It would be the right for NZ to board it and search for contraband. If military grade weapons are found the ship and crew can be seized as pirates.

-2 ( +3 / -4 )

Ships go in and out from Japan on nearly a daily basis, there is no issue with the ships passing though ordinary and its of course crucial to an island nation.

In this case the ships were part of an operation that all the nations in that actual region are opposed to.. The countries in the region have made their opposition clear, and in this case have asked that if you insist on this "scientific research", whist bringing along a potentially deadly situation with the protesters whom have the same rights to be in the open sea, please stay out of areas we have concern over and will most likely have to deal with should there be an emergency.

That seems like a fairly reasonable request to me.

The ships choose to ignore it, and like we here nearly every day.. is somewhat regrettable.

Again, Japan needs to be cautious, as New Zealand, Australia and many others in all other matters are considered friends and important trading partners.. Japan is potentially going to need some friends fairly soon to deal with issues in its own region.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

CH3CHO,

You're dead right. It's fine if NZ wants to express it's opposition to whaling by singling out the Shonan Maru 2, but by saying nothing about the eco-terrorists that Shonan Maru 2 was presumably tracking, PM Key gives the impression that he's taking sides.

At the very least he should have also expressed a desire for the eco-terrorists to knock it off and wait for the ICJ decision on legality, rather than taking matters into their own hands like a bunch of eco-terrorists.

0 ( +2 / -3 )

lol @ the use of the word "eco-terrorists" (which is what they're often called in Japanese right-wing articles).

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Was the intention to ram and sink it as they did to the Sea Shepherd's boat the Ady Gil?

No the intention was to keep track of their position so the Nisshan Maru can avoid them. And the NZ government itself said the SSCS was equally responsible for the Ady Gil collision.

It would be the right for NZ to board it and search for contraband.

No actually it wouldn't.

If military grade weapons are found the ship and crew can be seized as pirates.

And just what are 'military grade weapons' and why would possessing them make the crew pirates?

whist bringing along a potentially deadly situation with the protesters whom have the same rights to be in the open sea, please stay out of areas we have concern over and will most likely have to deal with should there be an emergency.

Then shouldn't NZ be blaming the SSCS for running into their EEZ in the first place?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Again, Japan needs to be cautious, as New Zealand, Australia and many others in all other matters are considered friends and important trading partners.. Japan is potentially going to need some friends fairly soon to deal with issues in its own region.

China is a much bigger trading partner for China than Japan is and it will be until the next time Fonterra screw up again. If NZ imposed sanctions on Japan it wouldn't matter one jot. But then again as all the Kiwi's know who saw John Key's comments - he's not remotely bothered by this and it's purely because the opposition have been spouting off about it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Japan is a trip. They go into other people territorial waters and don't say anything, someone goes into theirs and they throw a hissy fit. Its just like them at the station - they will bulldoze and walk right through you without saying excuse me or anything. you bump into them and they will flip out. Very selfish.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

billyhelpher_33

Japan is a trip. They go into other people territorial waters and don't say anything, someone goes into theirs and they throw a hissy fit.

Sigh. No one has gone into New Zealand's territorial waters in this case Billy. Perhaps you should go learn what territorial waters actually are (hint: not the EEZ) before you ignorantly comment about them here. RME...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

AdamInOzFeb. 12, 2014 - 10:27AM JST So how is it different exactly? Japan enters NZ EEZ and NZ gets annoyed. The pro Japan pro whaling crowd here say >tough luck NZ. China enters Japan's EEZ, Japan jumps up and down and says how regrettable. The pro Japan anti >China crowd ( the same ones as above) condemn China and call for blood. Maybe go read the likes of >OssanAmericas comments to compare it's very amusing the hypocrisy

Everything I stated is fact. You simply do not understand the differnce between the whaling issue and the Senkakus. Is Japan trying to take over New Zealand territory by going into their EEZ? If so you have a point. If not you have no idea what you are talking about.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Everything I stated is fact. You simply do not understand the differnce between the whaling issue and the Senkakus. Is Japan trying to take over New Zealand territory by going into their EEZ? If so you have a point. If not you have no idea what you are talking about.

Furthermore, AdaminOZ is completely clueless because the Japanese government only warns those vessels that enter "territorial" waters and not the EEZ that is beyond.

As the article states, "The foreign ministry said the ship did not enter New Zealand’s territorial waters"

1 ( +5 / -4 )

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