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Cablegate: Whaling: Us Commitment to Support Group Talks

VZCZCXYZ0027
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #0275 2811359
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 252221Z SEP 09
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 0636/0637
INFO RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 5329/5330
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY 5894/5895

UNCLAS STATE 100275

SENSITIVE, SIPDIS

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (ADDED SENSITIVE CAPTION)
COMMERCE PASS TO NOAA (MMEDINA
AREED AND RWULFF)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: IWC PREL EFIS JA SENV
SUBJECT: WHALING: US COMMITMENT TO SUPPORT GROUP TALKS

REF: STATE 97770

1. (U) This is an action request. Please see paragraphs
4-5.

-------
SUMMARY
-------

2. (U) Post is requested to approach appropriate Government
of Japan officials regarding the Future of the International
Whaling Commission (IWC) Support Group meeting in Santiago,
Chile, October 5-17, 2009. The United States is committed to
working within the process and will be approaching the
meeting with flexibility. We are encouraging all
participants to come to Santiago with the same mind set.
Because the Support Group meeting begins on October 5, 2009,
Post is requested to approach officials the week of September
28, 2009. Suggested language for Post's use is contained in
paragraphs 5-6.

----------
BACKGROUND
----------

3. (U) At its 60th meeting in June 2008 in Santiago, Chile,
the International Whaling Commission (IWC) created the Small
Working Group (SWG) to discuss the Future of the IWC. The
SWG was charged with assisting the Commission to arrive at a
consensus solution to the main issues it faces and thus to
enable it to best fulfill its role with respect to the
conservation of whale stocks and the management of whaling.
The primary task of the SWG was to make every effort to
develop a package or packages for consensus solutions
regarding the future of the IWC for review by the Commission.
One of the pivotal issues for the IWC members is lethal
scientific research whaling. Many countries, including the
United States, believe that the science necessary for
effective management of large whales does not require the
lethal take of whales. This is one of the most difficult
issues for IWC members and must be resolved in order to reach
consensus on a package. The United States has indicated that
for any package to be acceptable, there must be an
improvement in the conservation status of whales, including a
significant reduction in the number of whales killed.

4. (U) The Obama Administration is committed to achieving
reform of the IWC and would like to see a similar commitment
on the part of other IWC member countries, including the
Japanese Government. (REFTEL describes USG efforts to
encourage the Australian Government to approach these meeting
with flexibility.) We believe this will require high-level
diplomatic efforts by all participating governments. These
countries have been engaged in a debate on the Future of the
IWC for over two years now. Ending the current discussions
without an agreement and returning to the status quo would
negatively affect the organization as a whole and is an
unacceptable outcome to the United States. We agree with the
Commission's decision at IWC 61 to urge delegations to be
empowered to negotiate and engage in constructive discussions
aimed at reaching consensus. In order for this effort to
succeed, governments must come to the upcoming meetings in
Santiago, Chile (October 5-16) and St. Pete Beach, Florida
(December 8-11) prepared and ready to compromise.

--------------
ACTION REQUEST
--------------

5. (SBU) Post is requested to approach appropriate Ministry
of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and Ministry of Agriculture and
Fisheries (MAFF) officials, ideally members of the new
government, to discuss the meeting of the Support Group on
the Future of the IWC meeting to be held October 5-17, 2009.
Due to the start date of the Support Group, Post is requested
to approach GOJ officials the week of September 28, 2009.

6. (U) Post may draw on the following points:

a. The United States values its relationship with Japan and
appreciates efforts of the Japanese Government to work
closely with the United States on many environmental issues.

b. Now is the time for Japan, the United States and all of
the other governments directly involved in upcoming
negotiations on the Future of the International Whaling
Commission (IWC) to become more pragmatic and flexible. Only
through meaningful compromise can we resolve the
long-standing stalemate within the Commission.

c. The Obama Administration is committed to approaching the
upcoming meeting in Santiago, Chile with flexibility and
believes it is urgent that we do not squander the current
opportunity to reach consensus on a way forward for the
organization. We strongly urge Japan to come to the meeting
in a similar spirit.

7. (U) The Department thanks Post for their continued assistance
in this matter. OES/OPA point of contact on this matter is
Elizabeth Phelps, reachable on unclass email at
phelpse@state.gov, class email at phelpse@state.sgov.gov, or
telephone 202-647-0241.
CLINTON

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