WASHINGTON - The United States, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands reiterated their opposition to Japan’s whaling operation in the Antarctic Sea following the government’s recent decision to resume the hunt.
“We do not believe that Japan has sufficiently demonstrated that it has given due regard to the guidance found in the 2014 International Court of Justice judgment” that ordered Japan to suspend whaling in the sea, the four countries said in a joint statement Monday.
“Our governments remain resolutely opposed to commercial whaling,” they said, while warning anti-whaling activists against “dangerous, reckless or unlawful behavior.”
The statement was released after the whaling fleet left Japan in early December for research whaling in the Antarctic Sea. The Fisheries Agency said in November they planned to begin operations in the Antarctic Sea in late December.
Following the 2014 decision by the world court, Japan notified the International Whaling Commission (IWC) of a review of the country’s whale hunting plan, including a reduction of its annual mink whale catches by two-thirds to 333.
The four countries’ joint statement said, however, that Japan has yet to follow relevant IWC procedures for resuming its Antarctic whaling.
Japan has said the whale hunt is aimed at contributing to resource management by researching whale ecology through analysis of such things as stomach contents and organs.
“The science is clear: all information necessary for management and conservation of whales can be obtained through non-lethal methods,” the statement said.