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How Can NZ Be Opposed And Not Opposed?

Media Release

5 November 2001

New Zealand should leave the International Whaling Commission following public statements from its Commissioner, Jim McLay, that New Zealand is “adamantly opposed to commercial whaling, anywhere and at any time[1]”.

“How can a nation ‘adamantly oppose’ something – the resumption of whaling – when it is supposedly working to develop rules to achieve it,” says Joji Morishita, the Deputy Director of the Far Seas Fisheries Division of Japan’s Fisheries Agency. “Japan believes that New Zealand’s stance is a conflict of interest. It should leave the IWC because it cannot obviously work in good faith towards achieving the development of the whaling industry. Australia, for example, said it could never agree to commercial whaling and withdrew from the process,” Mr Morishita said.

“Mr McLay is also misrepresenting the facts. Everyone agreed at the Cambridge meeting that, while it was a closed meeting, it was not a secret meeting. No delegates had any problem with discussing the outcome. Mr McLay is only annoyed because the shoe, for once, is now on the other foot, and as a result, he’s spinning rhetoric to a whole new level.”

“Is Mr McLay saying that he would have agreed to attend a meeting whose outcome was to be kept secret? Japan stands by its statement,” Mr Morishita said.

“The reality is that New Zealand’s attempts to create a whale sanctuary in the South Pacific have been twice rejected by the IWC. It is time they admitted that Revised Management Procedure recommended by the IWC’s Scientific Committee would provide safe quotas for abundant stocks only.”

Mr Morishita said, “Despite the remarks by Mr McLay, Japan remains pleased with the spirit and attitude of those who attended the Cambridge meeting. Japan continues to look forward to completing the work in February so that it form the basis for an agreement at the annual meeting of the IWC, to be held in Shimonoseki, Japan, next May to allow the resumption of commercial whaling for abundant whale species.”

ENDS

For more information, contact Joji Morishita, Deputy Director of the Far Seas Fisheries Division of Japan’s Fisheries Agency, on Tokyo 0081 3 3502 2443

[1] Morning Report, National Radio, 5 November 2001.


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