Australia Fumes, Threatens To Sue Japan Over Annual Whale Hunt

In its latest attempt to curtail the horrific practice of whale hunting, Australia is currently threatening to take a legal fight straight to the Japanese government regarding the Asian country’s resumption of its annual whale hunt in the Antarctic Ocean.

Last week, a Japanese whaling fleet left port and headed towards the Antarctic, ignoring condemnation from the rest of the world. Last year, the International Court of Justice rejected Japan’s claims that their yearly hunts are for “scientific purposes.”  

Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Environment Minister Greg Hunt issued a joint statement Monday morning indicating that the capital is “working with other like-minded nations to build international consensus” against Japan’s controversial whaling practices.  

Despite all of the condemnation, Japan says it plans to destroy 333 minke whales this whaling season.  

Several years ago in 1986, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) banned commercial whaling. And, despite Tokyo’s claims that the yearly whale hunts are strictly scientific in nature, miraculously, whale meat is routinely found on store shelves.  

In 2010, Australia filed a lawsuit against Tokyo in the International Court of Justice, and just last year, the international court ruled that it rejected Japan’s claims. The decision prompted Japan to halt the whaling hunts.

So much for that. Japan’s commissioner to the IWC, Joji Morishita, supported and defended his country’s decision to resume its yearly hunt.

Morishita said that, “We did our best to try to meet the criteria established by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and we have decided to implement our research plan, because we are now confident that we completed the scientific homework as well as we are now meeting the ICJ judgment requirement.”
Australia announced that it is mulling over whether to send ships to the region to shadow and closely watch the Japanese fleet.  And not surprisingly, the environmental protection group Sea Shepherd plans to send a boat to the Antarctic Ocean to locate, follow and try to stop the Japanese whalers, as it has done for the last ten years.

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