IFAW statement in response to Prime Minister Abe’s desire to return to commercial whaling

Tuesday, 10 June, 2014

10th June 2014 – Further to Prime Minister Abe’s comments to a Japanese parliamentary hearing about his desire for Japan to return to commercial whaling, claiming that the world does not understand Japan’s “culture” of whaling.  IFAW’s marine campaign manager made the following comment:


“If Prime Minister Abe genuinely seeks greater understanding from the international community, complying with the judgment of the World Court would be a good start. 


It is regrettable that the respected leader of a great nation would suggest, in 2014, that Japan's cultural relationship with whales is defined solely by eating them. 


It is disappointing but not surprising that Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Mr Hiyashi, whose pro- whaling views are well known, continues to spend time, energy and government resources trying resuscitate a dying whaling industry, rather than focusing his attention on the plight of the Japanese farmer and his nation's struggling agricultural sector.


It is unfortunate, and beneath the dignity of a great nation, that after 20 years of government mismanagement of public resources, and a stark judgment at the International Court of Justice, the current leaders of Japan, responsible for putting their country on a solid path of growth, can do no better than whale eating photo ops and a cynical rallying cry to eat more whale meat.  The good people of Japan aren't buying it, and neither are we."

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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Beth Allgood, Country Director, United States
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Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
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Jason Bell, Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
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Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
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Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
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Peter LaFontaine, Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
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