Cablegate: Whaling: Japan Seamen's Union On Iwc and Nisshin Maru

DE RUEHKO #2109/01 1310002
R 110002Z MAY 07





E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A)05 TOKYO 2932; B) 06 TOKYO 2965

1. As part of its annual pre-International Whaling Commission (IWC)
meeting "demarche" to Tokyo embassies, the All Japan Seamen's
Union's (JSU) Suezo Kondo, Secretary for the Bureau of Fisheries,
and Keiichi Imai of the Kanto Regional Branch visited EST Deputy and
EST FSN on May 8 to preview the 70,000-member (30,000 Japanese and
40,000 foreign members) organization's position for this year's IWC
Annual Meeting in Anchorage. Until last year, the JSU visited 25
embassies, but this year it is focusing on only 10 -- the U.S.,
Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia,
Slovenia, plus two to be decided.

2. Kondo stressed that the JSU is a labor union seperate from the
GOJ and private sector, and that its desire is best described as
"well-regulated commercial whaling and crew members' job security."
Having said that, he generally defended the GOJ's position including
its proposal on small-type coastal whaling (STCW). Kondo underlined
that STCW targets small companies and Japan requests only 50 minke
whales annually from stocks that the nation considers abundant. He
called it a double standard that the U.S. requests Alaskan
aboriginal subsistance whaling while it does not allow STCW.

3. In addition to the JSU paper, Kondo handed out another
IWC-Anchorage position paper of the JSU's umbrella organization, the
U.K. based International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) in
which he serves as chair of the Fisheries Division in the
Asia-Pacific region. The ITF's paper states that "we strongly urge
all the Member States to finally establish(SIC) the RMS....and
finally, lift the unnecessary and counterproductive moratorium."

4. Referring to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's attack on
Japan's research whaling fleet during the 2006-2007 season in the
Antarctic Ocean, he recounted that two crew members' eyes were
injured. The most dangerous tactic was trying to throw ropes and
nets into the Nisshin Maru's propellers. Both the JSU and ITF
papers condemn such dangerous activities, and in particular the JSU
paper urges representatives of governments around the world to
revoke Greenpeace's status as an observer to the IWC as the NGO also
carried out a similar campaign last year. Asked about the Nisshin
Maru's fire in February 2007, Kondo said that it was not confirmed,
but almost certain that the fire was caused by a wire malfunction
due to a short-circuit.

5. Text of the JSU's Position Statement for the IWC Anchorage
Annual Meeting (as presented to Post):

28-31 May 2007, Anchorage

All Japan Seamen's Union

On the opening of the 59th Annual Meeting of the IWC, All Japan
Seamen's Union (JSU) would like to express its basic standpoint on
the whaling issue. We sincerely ask the chairperson of the plenary
and distinguished delegates from governments around the world to
respect the principles of the International Convention for the
Regulation of Whaling (ICRW), to hold discussions fairly and calmly
based on scientific evidence and to exclude any politics, economic
issues and emotions from the discussions.

Needless to say, the preamble to the ICRW stipulates that it
'desires to establish a system of international regulation for the
whaling fisheries to ensure proper and effective conservation and
development of whaling stocks and thus make possible the orderly
development of the whaling industry'.

Nevertheless anti-whaling nations neglected the decisions made by
the Scientific Committee of the IWC and imposed a moratorium on
commercial whaling, in effect since 1986, by force of numbers.
Consequently commercial whaling has been suspended since 1987 and
many JSU members who had been living on whaling fisheries have lost
their jobs.

Today 20 years later we can scarcely hide our deep disappointment at
the fact that the IWC is heading in the wrong direction that has
strayed from its original aims.

Anti-whaling nations such as the US, the UK, Australia and New

TOKYO 00002109 002 OF 004

Zealand who shut their eyes to their own past behaviour insisted
that whales were on the verge of extinction and forced through a
moratorium on commercial whaling, although such a statement had no
scientific basis.

Under the provisions of Article VIII of the ICRW, the government of
Japan carried out Japan's Research Programme in the Antarctic
(JARPA) and Japan's Research Programme in the North Pacific (JARPN)
since 1987-1988 and 1994 respectively. Through these research
programmes a vast array of scientific data were collected on more
than 100 items including whales' population, distribution, species,
body weight and length, age composition, sex ratio, maturity and the
amount and types of food whales eat, which have been reported to the
Scientific Committee every year pursuant to provisions of the ICRW.

Seafarers who have been long engaged in capture and sighting survey
under harsh weather and sea conditions are all JSU members. Without
valuable scientific data collected by years of survey the Scientific
Committee would have no ground and evidence on which it can make any
analyses or judgment.

If anti-whaling camp is adamant that the moratorium on commercial
whaling should be sustained, they should start their own research
activities and argue against a resumption of commercial whaling
based on their own scientific evidence in the forum of the IWC. Why
do they not do so? It is because they are afraid that scientific
research would reveal whale resources are in a healthy condition.

Conservation groups such as Greenpeace and the Sea Shepherd
Conservation Society who are notorious for their extreme
anti-whaling campaign jointly used a boat to ram a Japan's whaling
factory ship, 'the Nishhin Maru' and other boats when they were
engaged in a new research programme, JARPA? launched in November
2005. Such sabotage repeatedly committed against Japan's whaling
fleet clearly violates rules of the Convention on the International
Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (COLREGs) and
their acts were no better than terrorism, endangering lives and safe
operation of vessels. Such acts are totally unacceptable to the

Despite the fact that the St Kitts Declaration on ensuring the
safety of research activities was adopted by the IWC at its meeting
in St. Kitts and Nevis last year, the Sea Shepherd continued its
'terrorist attacks' on Japan's whaling feet including the Nishhin
Maru during the 2006-2007 research. Organisations such as Greenpeace
and Sea Shepherd call themselves environmentalists but their acts
are nothing but terrorism. They put in enormous time and effort in
fund raising and planning for more radical attacks and performance
in the future.

The JSU strongly urges representatives of governments around the
world to condemn such 'terrorism' and to revoke Greenpeace's status
as an observer to the IWC.

Being informed that the Greenpeeace campaign boat 'Esperanza' was
about to enter a port in Japan in March this year, the JSU urged the
Foreign Ministry of Japan not to allow the boat's entry into the
Japanese port. This was to show that we can never forgive their
repeated terrorist attacks on JSU members.

Lastly but not least the JSU is determined to continue to publicise
the importance of marine resources management including cetaceans
and their sustainable use.


6. Text of the ITF's Position Statement for the IWC Anchorage
Annual Meeting (as presented to Post):


Opening Statement by the
International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF)
To the 59th Annual Meeting of the International Whaling Commission

The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) is a Global
Union Federation that, among other things, works for the interests
of fishers worldwide. The ITF strongly supports the concept of

TOKYO 00002109 003 OF 004

responsible and sustainable use of all living marine resources. We
have many times emphasised that our aim is to preserve the fishing
industry by effective enforcement of international regulations.
They present a framework which gives some hope of a future in our
industry, where there are adequate quantities of both fish and
cetaceans to support the livelihoods of people engaged in the
industry. In this regard the ITF and its fisheries affiliates have
supported the mandate to manage the sustainable utilisation .

The ITF position is fully consistent with applicable international
instruments and the principles of sustainable development. The 1992
United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development
endorsed the principle of sustainable use of all living marine
resources; the 1998 report entitled "the Ocean our Future: the
Report of the Independent World Commission on the Oceans" urged
implementation of existing regulations on sustainable use of marine

At the same time we would like to remind the meeting that Article
119 paragraph 3 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the
Sea regarding conservation of the living resources of the high seas
clearly states:

"States concerned shall ensure that conservation measures and their
implementation do not discriminate in form or in fact against the
fishermen of any State."

The ITF believes that the industry should, in addition to complying
with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Code
of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and other applicable
international instruments, also be run in a manner which is
consistent with the three pillars of sustainable development:
environmental, social and economic. We would like also to remind
that the Code is asking that the "States should ensure that fishing
facilities and equipment as well as all fisheries activities allow
for safe, healthy and fair working and living conditions and meet
internationally agreed standards adopted by relevant international

A sustainable fishing industry should be considered as one which not
only manages the fishing resources but also provides fishers with
safe work places and decent work. In our opinion a sustainable
utilisation of all living marine resources creates a stable basis
for the employment of fishers on decent terms and conditions, as
well as making a valuable contribution to the world food supply.

In this regard the ITF and its fisheries affiliates have supported
the IWC's mandate to manage the sustainable utilisation of whale
stocks. We believe that the sustainable utilisation of whale
resources is of importance to secure enough food supply. If we look
outside whaling to the wider world there is consensus that
international rules and standards need to be enforced.

In this regard, we are repeating again our plea to the IWC to
fulfill its core mandate and, based upon the comprehensive data
which has been collated by the IWC's Scientific Committee, to set a
quota for those species which are sufficiently abundant to permit
sustainable harvesting. It is regrettable that no significant
progress has been made on this issue during the last meetings of the
IWC. Whale stocks should also be taken into account when adopting
the ecosystem approach to fisheries management.

In setting quotas the IWC should be abiding by both the spirit and
the letter of the 1946 International Convention for the Regulation
of Whaling (as amended). We would like to remind the Annual Meeting
that too many years have passed since the Revised Management
Procedure was developed and endorsed and the continuation of the
delay in reaching agreement on the Revised Management Scheme and the
refusal to set a quota for these whale stocks, which on the basis of
overwhelming scientific evidence are sufficiently abundant,
undermines the legitimacy of the IWC as an organisation.

We strongly urge all the Member States to finally establishing the
RMS, which is important for the whale conservation and management,
authorise and allocate a sustainable quota to preserve the ecosystem
of marine resources, pursuant to the ICRW's objectives and, finally,
lift the unnecessary and counterproductive moratorium.

At the same time we would like to express our concerns that some NGO
protests have moved from being peaceful to the point that they are

TOKYO 00002109 004 OF 004

endangering the safety of life at sea. This is of grave concern,
especially given the hostile environment in which they have taken

The ITF strongly condemns such violent campaign activities and
requests the IWC contracting Governments to take appropriate
measures in avoiding such incidents in the future, central to which
is the fulfillment of the IWC's core mandate.

Thank you!



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