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IWC votes likely against anti-whaling countries

16 June 2006
IWC votes likely to go against anti-whaling countries

On the eve of the 58th annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission the Green Party fears the Japan's vote-buying will result in a huge blow to the battle to save whales from scientific research knife and Japanese dinner tables.

Greens Conservation Spokesperson Metiria Turei says a new report from the Italian-based Third Millennium Foundation, says that several countries, including Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda, have admitted fisheries aid and other aid grants from Japan, including payment of flights and IWC membership, have been given in exchange for votes at the IWC.

This 'Aid in exchange for Whales' vote-buying programme has this year added Cambodia, Guatemala and the Marshall Islands to the pro-whaling bloc.

"This will give Japan a slim majority. But thankfully it won't be enough to dump the international moratorium on commercial whaling, but it is enough to get some very damaging votes through.

"Particularly concerning is one which will make all future votes conducted by secret ballots, and another which could see the future of the Commission's conservation committee threatened.

The report investigates the extent of Japan's overseas aid to the 21 developing nations in the pro-whaling bloc.

"This confirms what Green Party research had also found - that Japan is paying vast sums of money to these countries in the form of aid for fisheries projects.

"This goes completely against a resolution of the committee introduced by New Zealand's then Conservation Minister Sandra Lee in 2001 that: 'No state will use of encourage the use of economic, political or any other type of measure to coerce another state in order to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights and to secure from it advantages of any kind'.

"Despite the passing of this resolution Japan has continued to make millions of dollars worth of fisheries aid grants to countries that vote with it at the IWC."


Since 2001 Japan has granted fisheries aid to:

Antigua and Barbuda - more than US$13 million on fisheries projects
Benin - about US$9 million for a fishing port
Cameroon - US$3.5 million for a fishing centre
Dominica - US$14 million for fishing facilities
Gabon - US$6.5 million for a fishing centre
Grenada - US$12 million for fish marketing
Guinea - almost US$15 million for fisheries projects
Kiribati - US$13.5 for port rehabilitation and fisheries development
Mauritania - US$5 million for a fishing school
Morocco - almost US$16 million for fishing projects
Nicaragua - US$10 million for fisheries
Palau - US$9 million for a dock and fisheries
Panama - US$4 million for fishing development
Senegal - almost US$12 million for a fishing centre and fisheries
Solomon Islands US$8.4 for tuna fisheries
St Christopher and Nevis - US$11.8 million for a fisheries centre and fishing development
St Lucia - US$11 million for coastal fisheries
St Vincent and the Grenadines - US$6.5 million for a fish market

Japan's overseas aid can be viewed at: http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/oda/note/index.html


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