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NZ deplores new Japanese whaling plans

SATURDAY 29 JULY 2000 Media Statement

NZ deplores new Japanese whaling plans in North Pacific


Prime Minister Helen Clark said today it was deplorable that Japan was again ignoring world opinion and embarking on a new programme of so-called scientific whaling in the Pacific in the North Pacific.

Helen Clark was responding to news that the Japanese whaling fleet is about to leave port to begin its slaughter of one hundred whales in the North Pacific area. Japan plans to hunt fifty Byrde's whales and ten sperm whales in the North Pacific this year, as well as forty minke whales in the North Pacific.

"This year's slaughter goes beyond last year's in including not only the previously targeted minkes, but also the Bryde's and sperm species, " Helen Clark said.

"New Zealand condemns this latest Japanese proposal to slaughter whales.

"Japan's action defies a resolution condemning its whaling programme passed at the recent Adelaide meeting of the International Whaling Commission and it defies top-level representations from President Clinton, Tony Blair and others.

"The Adelaide meeting of the IWC resolved that the information sought by the Japanese did not justify the killing of whales for research purposes, and that such information could be obtained by non-lethal purposes.

"Japan continues to ignore the clear majority of the IWC nations, which supported the IWC resolution against its whaling programme.

"Japan's decision to reduce the proposed slaughter in the North Pacific from the originally proposed 160 to 100 whales means nothing at all. The bottom line is that there is no convincing scientific reason for the Japanese to kill any whales at all.

"It is well known that meat from the whales killed during these 'scientific' expeditions finishes up at Japanese dinner tables. That's what appals the people of New Zealand and like-minded nations, who have rallied to conserve these great mammals.

"New Zealand again calls on Japan to heed the wishes of the global community on this issue," Helen Clark said.

ENDS

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