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Whaling dominates Abe's New Zealand trip

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as always,Sea Shepherd warriors will be waiting in the southern ocean.This time with the ICJ ruling in their hands! (kuni ni kaere)

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Sea Shepherd terrorists

-13 ( +8 / -21 )

saying they had agreed to disagree on the matter.

They agreed to disagree? Very twisted!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It looks like from Abe that he would rather stick with the topics of sheep & NZ wine rather than talk about whales.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Whaling dominates Abe's New Zealand trip

Winning friends and influencing people, then?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Wow! Mention anything about whales and the Sea Shepherd labelers come out in force. If sea shepherd are terrorists, the Japanese whalers are pirates.

So, obviously, Abe, the Japanese fisheries dept. and their lawyers are looking for ways to dodge the ICJ ruling and return to commercial whaling in the southern ocean. They are busily scheming away behind closed doors to find (or make) another loop hole to exploit for profit. There is also no doubt that have allocated many more millions of public money to cover it.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

with Prime Minister John Key saying they had agreed to disagree on the matter.

Good idea. Japan and New Zealand surely have too much common interest at stake to let a cultural spat about some non-endangered whales ruin it all.

the U.N. court ruling in April that it was a commercial venture and had no research value.

I've seen this sort of statement multiple times now from the English media, but the judgment, so far as I read, didn't say it was a commercial venture. It said Japan's activities were scientific in nature, but the program was not for the purposes of scientific research. Even with 4 judges dissenting from the decision, Japan has rightly said it'll abide by it, but it only relates to the specific program Japan was conducting, not potential future programs.

Abe has since signaled that Japan intends to look at ways it can resume the annual Southern Ocean hunt without breaching the ICJ ruling

Nothing legally wrong with that.

“He was very clear to say that Japan will abide by the ICJ decision but it’s also fair to say that there’s a difference of opinion. New Zealand would certainly prefer to see the end of all whaling.”

No reason given why. Seems like it's just New Zealand's default position, and they are too stubborn to change it even though there are 500K minke whales.

Japan is too broke to be spending money on this though. Japan should quit the IWC on a strictly temporary basis, and unilaterally set quotas for any potential commercial whaling operation to work with, while promising to rejoin the IWC once the moratorium has been lifted. This would be a more cost-effective way of acheiving Japan's aims.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

NZ is what Japan thinks it is. Abe is an embarrassment. Big or small (whaling) business get supported families get nothing. TEPCO get government hand outs, Olympics get government handouts/ Toyota get a tax break they pay nothing. while anyone trying to start a family get ...............nothing. Appropriate there are sheeps *** in the photo.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the judgment, so far as I read, didn't say it was a commercial venture. It said Japan's activities were scientific in nature, but the program was not for the purposes of scientific research.

So if it's not for the purposes of research, and the only other outcome is a freezerful of meat that will end up in restaurants and supermarkets, what do you imagine the programme was for the purposes of? Using up surplus tax money (hint - there isn't any)? Getting up forn noses? (it does that, right enough, bit childish though, dontcha think?)

No reason given why. Seems like it's just New Zealand's default position, and they are too stubborn to change it even though there are 500K minke whales.

So if you think there are a lot of something, it's OK to kill them and all other considerations are tossed aside?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

no surprise here. Was inevitable. Usual lack of agreement (except to differ).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So if it's not for the purposes of research, and the only other outcome is a freezerful of meat that will end up in restaurants and supermarkets, what do you imagine the programme was for the purposes of?

Taking stock, there are 500K whales there, and no reason other than cultural preferences of certain people for not catching some small proportion of them.

So it's a matter of principle, methinks, and they were trying to play by the book, but got ruled against by the ICJ on technicalities rather than intents anyway. I think they were unlucky. The judgment certainly doesn't suggest that the Japanese government was trying to reduce it's fiscal deficit by doing this, as the notion that the activity was "commercial" would suggest. The biased media reporting of the outcome only makes me have more sympathy for Japan's position.

So if you think there are a lot of something, it's OK to kill them and all other considerations are tossed aside?

While it's unpopular to admit, I'm not one of those people who have a problem with people catching some non-endangered whales. Call me a nasty person if you will, that's just my worldly opinion.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Taking stock, there are 500K whales there, and no reason other than cultural preferences of certain people for not catching some small proportion of them.

Who the eff cares whether they're endangered or not... that isn't the point. The point is they are sentient beings and so should be protected, not slaughtered because it's traditional to do so.

So good on Key for raising the issue.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Who the eff cares whether they're endangered or not... that isn't the point.

That is the WHOLE point.

sentient beings?

Can you provide difinitive proof of that?

Just because your culture does not have a custom to eat whales does not give authority on how other culture should behave and or lecture on what is and is not for food since they are not endangered.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

there are 500K whales there, and no reason other than cultural preferences of certain people for not catching some small proportion of them

That doesn't answer the question; if the purpose is not research, what is it? The obvious answer is that since the meat ends up getting sold (or trying to), the purpose is commercial.

it's a matter of principle, methinks

You mean, kill 'em just to show that we can?

The judgment certainly doesn't suggest that the Japanese government was trying to reduce it's fiscal deficit by doing this, as the notion that the activity was "commercial" would suggest. The biased media reporting of the outcome only makes me have more sympathy for Japan's position.

The fact that the activity was commercial does not suggest at all that the Japanese government was 'trying to reduce its fiscal deficit'. On the contrary, the government was pouring bagsful of tax money down the drain in its attempts to keep the whaling fleet afloat. The taxpayer loses out, but you can bet the farm that someone is making a ton of money lout of the whaling programme. The biased media reporting was all in and for Japan.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Well knew it wasn't commercial whaling, because Japan said so. Now we know it wasn't scientific whaling because the ICJ said so.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Whaling dominates the Abe's visit?

Only if you want it to. Because that's not the way it's been portrayed in the media. Yes, they discussed whaling but they also discussed rugby as well. Did that overshadow the TPP talks as well?

Christchurch is by far the bigger side story, whaling is only a story because certain aspects of the media want it to be. And it certainly isn't a headline.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

are looking for ways to dodge the ICJ ruling

Would that be the ICJ ruling that contained guidelines on how to establish a whaling program that would comply with the ruling? How is it dodging the ruling to follow the directions giving right in the ruling?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The whaling issue overshadowed trade talks designed to shore up the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an ambitious plan for free trade deal encompassing 12 nations, including Japan and New Zealand.

IMO this is the lunacy of Japan's steadfast pursuit of whaling. The TPP, which could bring a significant boost to the overall Japanese economy through improving the competitiveness of its exports, as well as potentially lowering prices at home, is held hostage to whaling. Sometimes, actually make that many times, Japan cannot see the forest because of the trees, because all its special-interest groups are way too powerful given the desire to have "consensus". Silly.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Thunderbird2Jul. 07, 2014 - 03:57PM JST "Taking stock, there are 500K whales there, and no reason other than cultural preferences of certain people for not catching some small proportion of them. Who the eff cares whether they're endangered or not... that isn't the point. The point is they are sentient beings and so >should be protected, not slaughtered because it's traditional to do so.

Haha. Cows are sentient beings. Chickens are sentient beings. Pigs are sentient beings. Just about every advanced organism on this planet is a "sentient being".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The TPP being held up has no connection to whaling. It's about agriculture. The tyrannical JA doesn't want to lose its omnipotent grip on Japanese agribusiness.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Looks like the sheep are inspecting Mr. Abe and Mr. Key too!

Maybe they are all thinking the same thing, "What a pair of idiots!" (Admittedly John Key is quite a popular idiot).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I am not against legal whaling of non-endangered species of whales, but at this point in time, my question to Abe is: Why? Why continue something that's so controversial, and something that brings so little satisfaction to such a fractional population of your people? Quit whaling not because you're being told to, but simply because no one in Japan (except a rare few) will miss it, and it's a waste of time and energy to fight for its succession.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The TPP being held up has no connection to whaling. It's about agriculture. The tyrannical JA doesn't want to lose its omnipotent grip on Japanese agribusiness.

BBQ -- disagree. Respectfully, Japan's reputation as trying to skirt agreements is not helped by them playing this game with whaling. And, since the TPP is based on all the countries being able to trust all the others-- that what they agree to will not be watered down by individual countries putting into place, or not removing existing, non-tariff trade barriers -- this has a direct impact on New Zealand's attitude towards Japan and TPP. Japan can't basically say "up yours" with regards to whaling, but then turn around and say "trust me" when it comes to TPP.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Really think that Australia and/or New Zealand should just seize the ships they come into the southern waters and let the courts decide, again.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

ka_chanJul. 08, 2014 - 05:36AM JST Really think that Australia and/or New Zealand should just seize the ships they come into the southern waters and let >the courts decide, again.

Don't you think if that was feasible legally that hey would have done it by now? It's been years. The Research Whaling program has always been, and probably will in the future, be conducted in International Waters, in an area that Australia has an unrecognized claim to, but over which it has no legal authority or jurisdiction.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

jerseyboy,

The TPP -chop- is held hostage to whaling.

Seriously? This is just a cultural spat which affects virtually no one. No country would put it's potential access to the Japanese market at risk over such trivial difference in culture.

If anyone should be worried about trust, it's Japan. They have been naive with whaling. Look at what the IWC has done - a "moratorium" in place for decades now, even though the IWC counts 500K whales in one instance. Still they don't quit, despite Japan's interests having been trampled all over.

Still, Japan rightly doesn't appear to see this whaling spat as any larger issue than it really is.

cleo,

You mean, kill 'em just to show that we can?

Forgive me if you were deliberately twisting what I said to emphasize your own view, but let me state it again to be sure. It's because there are plenty of whales, because they are regarded as a type of food in Japanese culture, and because the "moratorium" has turned out to be an unnecesary measure (and I suspect probably a ruse from the very beginning).

If the Japanese are to stop regarding a specific type of animal as an exploitable resource, it should be entirely their decision. It is not the place of other nations to seek to impose a cultural preference on them.

On the contrary, the government was pouring bagsful of tax money down the drain in its attempts to keep the whaling fleet afloat.

The purpose is to uphold the principle, obviously the whaling fleet is just a means to an end.

My proposal for reducing the tax spent is for the government is to quit the IWC "temporarily" until such a time as the "moratorium" ends, and allow it's whalers to catch whales in the meantime. If the nations really care they will lift the "moratorium" and Japan can reward their improved behaviour by rejoining the IWC.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

the whaling issue in NZ is just window dressing. The real talks were on the TPP. NZ and oz want japan turfed out. Japan harps on about the size of the Japanese economy.... but in reality if none of that is opened up it would be better to pursue a strong agreement with like-minded countries. Let Japan try to get into an established deal; or sit back and watch the world economy rush past them.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Why continue something that's so controversial

Not controversial AT ALL in Japan.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

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