IWC Rejects Japanese Scientific Whaling Proposal

Wednesday, 22 June, 2005
Ulsan, Korea
A new Japanese proposal to increase “scientific” whaling failed to gain majority support at the  57th annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). A resolution introduced by the Government of Australia, sharply critical of the Japanese proposal, was passed by a vote of 30 to 27 with one abstention by the Pacific Island nation of Solomon Islands.
Japan has killed more than 8,000 whales under the guise of science since the commercial whaling ban. Earlier this year it announced plans to double its “scientific” whaling in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary around Antarctica and add endangered humpback and fin whales to its target list. IWC member countries, scientific experts and leading conservation organizations had expressed stiff opposition to Japan’s new whaling proposal leading up to this year’s annual meeting.

“We’re encouraged by today’s vote, but the fact remains that thousands of whales will face Japanese harpoons later this year,” said Dr. Joth Singh, IFAW Director of Wildlife and Habitat. Japan’s attempt to dress up its commercial whaling is an insult to modern science. It’s good the IWC didn’t take the bait.”

Today’s vote marks the 41st time the global body has passed a resolution critical of Japan’s scientific whaling program. “It’s time for the Japanese Government to respect the rest of the world and the IWC, said Dr. Singh. It’s time to stop whaling.”

Countries voting against Japan’s whaling plan included:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Panama, Portugal, Slovak Republic, San Marino, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Countries voting in support of Japan’s whaling plan included:
Antigua & Barbuda, Benin, Cameroon, China, Ivory Coast, Dominica, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea, Iceland, Japan, Kiribati, Korea, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Nauru, Nicaragua, Norway, Palau, Russia, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Senegal, Suriname, Tuvalu.

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