6 min read

Japan Will Ignore 35 Countries Demanding An End To Whaling

<p><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/noaaphotolib/5019925885/in/photolist-8DAr5i-6tk9cz-d1fMsb-drMUZh-eegGkk-d1fMmC-8tLaJh-d6hT9J-4sNBgG-2KZoV7-7aT52S-d1fLuA-drMUXA-8pvxRt-d1fJZJ-77inmj-8ksEg8-8SUKcC-nUZJ8v-79iuto-4usdZJ-794JBm-fNCyPx-5gJpVV-9ndDEn-YztJc-8JHvyv-fBsdv6-a1TjPU-iFSFaM-fFYPNu-fFGfj4-a1ckya-fFGenM-8DDyp9-5346if-fFYNN9-6A7iuQ-g5b4ki-5347e7-5347t7-a2qysu-a2nF4Z-eDDKju-5347iE-8tdM8J-a2nEgH-c5ZgSG-8PCVP4-52YPZi">NOAA / Flickr</a></p>

A coalition of 35 countries voted in favor of stricter regulations on Japan's whaling program this week at a conference in Slovenia - creating a non-binding resolution which Japan has already vowed to ignore.

As part of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting, New Zealand proposed regulations that would require approval by a committee for whaling countries to continue "scientific" whaling programs. The member countries present at the meeting voted, coming out with a 35 to 20 majority in favor of the regulations. While not binding by law, the vote represents a strong diplomatic message.

The regulations, in line with an International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling in March that barred the country from whaling in the Southern Ocean on the grounds that the practice was unscientific, would prevent the country from whaling until 2016.

But Japan responded to the resolution with a shocking announcement that it would ignore the regulations and instead continue whaling in the Southern Ocean next year. The country said it took a different interpretation of the ICJ court ruling, arguing that it didn't bar whaling with an adjusted quota in the area. Japan said it would proceed with the hunt, which it announced earlier this week.

Policy makers from anti-whaling countries have already expressed frustration with Japan's announcement.

"We are disappointed with their announcement," Gerard Van Bohemen, the leader of the New Zealand delegation told the Guardian. "We thought it important that there was a strong statement agreed about the interpretation and application of the court's decision but in the end it wasn't possible to reach consensus on that."

Leigh Henry, senior policy advisor for wildlife conservation for World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said in a statement:

"We are pleased to see governments finally taking the steps necessary to ensure that so called "scientific" whaling is no longer exploited for commercial whaling purposes. However, we are disappointed by Japan's intentions to resume their hunt in the Southern Ocean in 2015, which circumvents the new rules established today. We strongly encourage Japan to demonstrate their commitment to conservation and to international law by abiding by the will of the commission."

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[rebelmouse-campaign #StopWhaling title="Add your voice: Demand that whaling nations comply to the global moratorium and put an end to whaling." theme="sidebar" total="supporters have shared their voice." cta="Sign Now" pastCta="Signed" sendButton="Sign" why="Add your voice: Demand that whaling nations comply to the global moratorium and put an end to whaling." addPost="Post Now!" shareText="Join @dodo and me in demanding an end to whaling #StopWhaling {{link}}"]

[rebelmouse-campaign #StopWhaling title="Add your voice: Demand that whaling nations comply to the global moratorium and put an end to whaling." theme="sidebar" total="supporters have shared their voice." cta="Sign Now" pastCta="Signed" sendButton="Sign" why="Add your voice: Demand that whaling nations comply to the global moratorium and put an end to whaling." addPost="Post Now!" shareText="Join @dodo and me in demanding an end to whaling #StopWhaling {{link}}"]