Minister To Visit Japanese Whaling Fleet Homeport
Conservation Minister To Visit Japanese Whaling Fleet Homeport
Conservation Minister Sandra Lee is to travel to the Japanese whaling fleet's homeport in May.
Ms Lee will lead the New Zealand delegation to the 54th annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission hosted this year in Shimonoseki during the week beginning 20 May.
"While the New Zealand government holds the Japanese people in high regard, that will not preclude us and other like-minded nations from putting our views as advocates for the great whales which are part of our global conservation heritage."
Ms Lee said the critical issue at the meeting would be whether Japan finally achieves a simple majority of pro-whaling nations governing the IWC, and whether the organisation decides to move away from its present conservation focus.
"The New Zealand delegation will continue to press for the greatest possible level of protection for all whales," she said. "I am encouraged by reports that growing numbers of Japanese are keen to see the great whales of the world's oceans protected."