Japan's Commitment to Whaling
When Japan announced its scientific whaling program in 1987, Japanese Fisheries Minister Moriyoshi Sato told its citizens, "The government will do its utmost to find ways to maintain the nation's whaling in the form of research or other forms."
Today, Japan remains unwaivering in its commitment to whaling. With recent voting gains at the IWC's annual meeting, the country is hopeful that a return to commercial whaling is imminent. Even nations that were once strongly opposed to a resumption of commercial whaling seem prepared to concede.
The Opposition to Whaling
For those who oppose whaling, a near-term end to this practice seems unlikely. Yet many in the anti-whaling movement recall the great strides that were made in the past on behalf of whales. The "Save the Whales" movement, which started in the early 1970's, led to an international public outcry and an eventual moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986, one that's still in place to this day.
If you, as a citizen of the world, oppose Japan's whaling practices, you can let them know by sending a letter directly to Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda at the following link:
Here are some requests and points that you can make in your e-mail:
- Ask the Japanese Prime Minister to respect the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and stop killing whales there.
- Ask the Japanese Prime Minister to stop killing whales illegally in the Australian Antarctic Territory.
- Ask the Japanese Prime Minister to suspend its use of factory ships to process protected whale stocks, a direct violation of IWC regulation 19(a).
- Ask the Japanese Prime Minister to stop targeting endangered fin whales, and to refrain from hunting endangered humpback whales, both violations of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).
- Ask the Japanese Prime Minister to stop targeting fin whales and refrain from hunting humpback whales in violation of IWC regulation 19(a), Paragraph 10(d), which bans the use of factory ships to process any whales except minke whales.
- Tell the Japanese Prime Minister that you will not purchase any Japanese products until his country stops killing whales.
- Tell the Japanese Prime Minister that you will not visit Japan until his country stops killing whales.