Members Login
    Remember Me  

Status: Offline
Posts: 311

<<>> Whales revenge is trying to get a million people to sign a petition to stop whaling.

If you could tell as many people as you can about the website, that would be a great help.

Thanks for your support and remember to sign the petition. Just click on the link below.

The message is ready to be sent with the following file or link


Shortcut to:


Status: Offline
Posts: 311

aap.gifSaturday December 22, 05:48 PM

Australia leads in Japan whaling protest

Australia has led the largest ever formal international diplomatic protest against Japan's whaling program, which this year will slaughter almost 1,000 whales in the Southern Ocean despite humpbacks getting a temporary reprieve.

The federal government and anti-whaling groups welcomed as a small victory Japan's decision to suspend the planned kill of 50 humpbacks.

But they have pledged to maintain pressure on Tokyo to end the so-called scientific whaling program.

Japan said its decision not to catch humpbacks for "one year or two" came after consultation with the International Whaling Commission (IWC), although it noted the strength of the Australian opposition to the annual hunt.

Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith spoke to his Japanese counterpart Masahiko Komura and welcomed the move while conveying the Australian government and people's "strong opposition" to whaling.

But Australia also took its opposition a step further, leading a formal diplomatic protest in Tokyo to mark the start of Japan's whaling season.

The ambassador in Tokyo, Murray McLean, presented the Japanese government with Canberra's protest at 7pm local time (9pm AEDT).

Mr Smith said the 31 countries who joined the formal protest made it the largest international protest of its kind against Japan's whaling program.

The backers included the United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Brazil, Chile and Mexico, while the European Commission also participated.

"The strength of international support for the diplomatic protest led by Australia shows that there is strong international concern over Japan's whaling program," Mr Smith said.

"The formal diplomatic protest sends a very powerful signal to the government of Japan."

But Mr Smith told Mr Komura that the disagreement would not affect the "warm and productive" relationship between Australia and Japan.

Australia dramatically escalated its anti-whaling campaign this week when it announced it would send a surveillance aircraft and ship to gather evidence for a possible international court challenge to halt the slaughter.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific CEO Steve Shallhorn said the protest letter was a significant escalation of world opposition to Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean, and would have influenced Japan's decision to compromise.

Mr Shallhorn said the decision to spare the humpbacks was a significant backdown, but should not be interpreted as Japan softening its stance.

Translated cabinet documents showed the same meeting that granted the reprieve also reaffirmed Japan's intention to push the IWC to allow the resumption of commercial whaling, Mr Shallhorn said.

"They intend to continue and expand that hunt," he told reporters in Sydney.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare said the temporary reprieve demonstrated the federal government's strengthened stance against whalers was working, but more was needed.

"While this is good news for 50 humpbacks it doesn't change the fact that this year Japan will kill more than 900 whales, including endangered species, in the Southern Ocean," Asia Pacific campaigns manager Darren Kindleysides said.

"The only way to stop this unlawful, inhumane and unnecessary whaling is if the Australian or other like-minded governments take legal action to enforce international treaties and tribunals."

Japan, which says whaling is a cherished cultural tradition, abandoned commercial whaling in accordance with an international moratorium in 1986, but the next year began what it insists is a scientific research whaling program.

Japan's whaling fleet set sail last month with plans to catch almost 1,000 whales, mostly minke, before returning to port early next year.

Greenpeace and the militant splinter group Sea Shepherd have each sent a ship to Antarctic waters to try to disrupt Japan's whaling.


Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to

Create your own FREE Forum
Report Abuse
Powered by ActiveBoard