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Japan defies Australia over whaling prior to Japan PM visit

Japan defies Australia over whaling prior to Japan PM visit

Humane Society International has asked Prime Minister Scott Morrison to express Australia's strong opposition to whaling when he meets with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later this week. Yesterday, the Government of Japan announced that it has issued new permits for its whale fleet to hunt whales in Antarctica and the fleet is now on its way to its hunting grounds.

The recent International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting saw Australia lead the opposition against Japan's proposals for commercial whaling.

Japan hunts whales in Antarctica and sells the meat commercially. Their hunt is conducted:

- In defiance of the global moratorium on commercial whaling decided by the IWC in 1982 and the recent rejection of Japan's proposal to undermine it;

- In the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary declared by the IWC in 1994;

- In the Australian Whale Sanctuary declared under Australian law in 1999;

- In the Ross Sea Marine Protected Area;

- In contempt of the Australian Federal Court;

- Despite a million dollar fine from the Australian Federal Court for being in contempt of court;

- Despite a ruling from the International Court of Justice in The Hague that its scientific whaling program in Antarctica was unlawful;

- Despite repeated resolutions of concern passed at the IWC;

- Despite the IWC expressing a view in September that Japan has failed to demonstrate a scientific need to kill whales.

"Humane Society International says Prime Minister Morrison should ask his counterpart to recall his country's whale fleet to port and to retire its harpoons for good,” said Nicola Beynon, Head of Campaigns for the Australian Office of Humane Society International.

"If Japan proceeds with this latest hunt, the Australian public will expect our Government to investigate all possible legal options to restrain Japan's whaling once and for all,Ms Beynon continued.

Humane Society International joined other conservation organisations in a letter to Prime Minister Morrison to ask that he convey Australia's strong opposition to Japan's whaling when he meets with Prime Minister Abe later this week.


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