Statement By Japan Whaling Commission
Statement By Japan’s Whaling Commission Mr. Minoru Morimoto
The International Whaling Commission’s 55th annual meeting in Berlin will be remembered for further strengthening the polarization within the IWC and provoking nations seeking to resume harvesting of abundant whales for food to explore other means to achieve this legitimate cultural right.
The Berlin meeting has seen an attempt by anti-whaling members to change the fundamental purpose of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW) to one of prohibition by a simple majority vote. The so-called “Berlin Initiative”, which its proponents intend to use as a framework for the establishment of sanctuaries and whale watching attempts to subvert the ICRW. This would change the Convention’s purpose from managing sustainable whaling to one of total prohibition.
The Berlin Initiative undermines the major task of the IWC over the past 10 years to complete the framework for the resumption of sustainable commercial whaling – the Revised Management Scheme (RMS). This is a clear demonstration of the lack of good faith that has been brought to that task by those who sponsored and supported the initiative.
We are extremely disappointed that once again the Commission has failed to make progress on completing the RMS. We are also disappointed that Japan’s proposal for the resumption of whaling on minke and Bryde’s whales were rejected. The proposal would have allowed the take of 150 minke and 150 Bryde’s whales from abundant stocks and provided the opportunity to demonstrate that it is possible to implement a reasonable framework for the resumption of whaling, including international observers.
We are particularly unhappy at the attitude of the US delegation. After receiving their quota for bowhead whales at the special meeting of the Commission last October they have resumed an excessively strong position against Japan’s reasonable proposal for whaling to satisfy the needs of our coastal communities and our research programmes that continue to provide valuable scientific information.
Together with the lack of progress in
completing the RMS, the Berlin Initiative has provoked an
interest in the possible establishment of alternative