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Whaling situation getting worse

23 January 2008

Whaling situation getting worse

Green Party Conservation Spokesperson Metiria Turei MP is saddened and angered by news that the Japanese are planning to commission a replacement mother ship for their whaling fleet.

Deputy director of the whaling division of Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Iwata Tsuyoshi, has told reporters discussions had taken place regarding a replacement for the ageing factory ship Nisshin Maru.

The commissioning of a new ship could commit Japan to at least 40 more years of whaling.

"It's becoming starkly apparent that international condemnation, diplomatic protests and direct action are having very little effect on the Japanese position to continue slaughtering whales," Mrs Turei says.

"If we want to put a halt to this barbaric slaughter, the world must continue to keep pressure all parties involved," Mrs Turei says.

"While the Green Party does not support a boycott against Japanese companies, it would behove Japanese companies operating in New Zealand to state their position on the barbaric practice. Pressure from some of Japan's largest companies may have more success than failed lobbying attempts or muted diplomatic protests.

"Consumer and media pressure in recent years has resulted in several companies severing ties with the Japanese whaling fleet, including Nissui, Gortons and New Zealand company Sealord. The Japanese intransigence on this issue is harming the entire country's reputation internationally, and will result in a consumer backlash that could affect innocent parties. The whaling industry represents only a very small fraction of the Japanese economy, and the Government should be looking after the interests of all its citizens.

"The Japanese stance appears to be getting more and more entrenched. I call on the Prime Minister to make a direct appeal to her Japanese counterpart," Mrs Turei says.


ENDS

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