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False Vote Buying Allegations

22 May 2002 – Shimonoseki, Japan

Allegations that Japan has “bought votes” at the International Whaling Commission are false and not borne out by the facts,” Japan’s alternate commissioner to the IWC, Masayuki Komatsu, said today. “Just try and find a developing country that doesn’t receive aid from Japan. Also compare the amount of aid to anti-whaling and pro-sustainable use members of the IWC,” he added.

Mr Komatsu was commenting on the New Zealand Press Association article quoting the Third Millennium Foundation. “Japan gives anti-whaling India 187 times the amount of aid than it does to whaling country St Vincent and the Grenadines. The amount Japan gives to anti-whaling Brazil is 120 times more than to pro-sustainable use member Antigua and Barbuda. We are not buying votes and it’s demonstrated by the figures,” Mr Komatsu said.

“New Zealand’s Prime Minister and Minister for Conservation have insinuated that this was the reason for the IWC’s rejection of their proposed South Pacific Sanctuary. The sanctuary proposal was lost anyway – because it has no scientific basis and serves no conservation purpose.”

“Unfortunately, these accusations of vote-buying have become part of the anti-whaling rhetoric – to slander Japan as a way of gaining support at the IWC. The accusations are part of a campaign of threats and intimidation by extremist NGOs against Caribbean nations that have supported the principle of sustainable use of all marine resources including whales.”

“Caribbean nations that have voted in support of sustainable use of whales use cetacean resources as food themselves. St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a whaling nation that receives a quota of humpback whales from the IWC. Accusations that their votes have been bought are an insult to the sovereignty of these nations to vote as they wish within the IWC,” Mr Komatsu said.

Japanese Overseas Assistance (ODA)

Anti-whaling countries Pro-sustainable use countries
Argentina 393.31m USD Antigua & Barbuda 11.87m USD
Brazil 1,410.86m USD Grenada 19.83m USD
Chile 417.08m USD St. Kitts & Nevis 1.96m USD
India 7,027.71m USD St. Vincent 31.29m USD
Mexico 1,182.54m USD St. Lucia 37.53m USD
South Africa 920.46m USD Dominica 27.71m USD

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