That's right; the same hardcore cadre of well-insulated pro-whalers who perpetrated the long-running scam of Antarctic "research" ultimately deemed illegal, now insist their new "research proposal," which they literally call "NEWREP-A," meets the test of legality laid out a year ago in the excoriating judgement of the World Court.
Put simply, "NEWREP A" is the same old B.S.; more than 100 pages chock full of fake justifications for needless slaughter that are achingly familiar to longtime students of Japan's two-faced whaling policy - exactly the same kinds of arguments and back to front approaches that were summarily dismissed just a year ago in the unprecedented ICJ judgment.
Top US, Australian, Latin American, and European scientists who have reviewed the proposal are leading the early charge against its bogus justifications for more whale killing.
An important opportunity to give "NEWREP A" a good flensing will surface next month in San Diego, California where the world's leading whale wonks will gather for three weeks beginning May 18 at the annual meeting of the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
The Scientific Committee, comprised of scientists representing dozens of countries, is charged with reviewing Japan's proposal and providing advice on it to the full Commission.
Whaling, of course, is the IWC's middle name, and the approach of its Secretariat and Head of Science thus far suggest the Scientific Committee, which tolerated Japan's illegal whaling for more than two decades before the ICJ judgment's inconvenient truth, is probably not the body that is going to bring Japan's whaling to an end.
The full Commission itself has already taken action to ban commercial whaling, imposing an indefinite moratorium on the practice in 1986, following engaged lobbying and inspiring personal leadership from then-US President Ronald Reagan.
Thirty years later, it still takes efforts outside the IWC to make any progress within it. Engaged personal leadership from Barack Obama and John Kerry, arguably the most ocean-centered President and Secretary of State in US history, may ultimately be needed to deliver on the full promise of last year's unprecedented ICJ ruling.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit the White House on April 28.
Given the fundamental importance of our bilateral relationship with Japan, there will be many issues on the agenda during the Prime Minister's visit. Encouraging Abe-san and the nation he leads to continue non-lethal whale research and make the same migration the US and so other many other former whaling nations have made can help ensure Antarctic waters never again run red.