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Japan) - The annual meet of the IWC (International Whaling Commission) has
started, as foreseeable, with helicopters and Coast Guard in surveillance,
to fend off any seaborne protest.
pro-whaling nations has suffered the first defeat with the rejection of
the Iceland bid for full membership. This is an important decision because
its return to full membership would have given the pro-whaling group a
majority for the resumption of commercial whaling.
could remain as observer and not as a voting member. The pro-whaling
nations, in spite of only two (Japan and Norway) has a whaling industries,
are many but Greenpeace accuse Japan of vote buying. Stefan Asmundsson
head of IWC's Iceland delegation said "they have gone against our
rights"..."it's an illegal act".
has objected to the moratorium that since 1986 has stopped the whaling and
Japan continues whaling for "scientific research" (last year 400
minke whales) but whale meat goes to Japanese restaurants and shops.
in the last year IWC reunion, has failed the collection of the 3/4 votes
necessary for the creation of two sanctuaries in southern hemisphere.
Australia and New Zealand says that sanctuaries are necessary for
protecting many whales still in danger, on the other hand Japan says that
whale are not in danger because from 1986 whales can't be hunted.
Japan query has rejected, the proposal to take 150 minke whale (50 more
then last season) for expanding the "whaling program research".
Masayuki Komatsu, a fisheries official, said "i'm disappointed".
pro-whaling request has turned down (in two times voting), but in this
case United States and Russia were the proponent, they asked to the IWC to
renew the quotas that allows their native peoples to kill whales (eskimo
whale hunt a millenary tradition); also Japan voted against this request
perhaps to punish the U.S. governments for his opposition to the
commercial whaling. The ban would begin in 2003.
and Russia delegates asked for allowing American Makah Indians, Eskimos
Inuit and russian Chukotka to catch a quote of whales (not for commercial
purpose but for nutritional needs).
Schmitten told "In the 56 years of history of the IWC, that was the
most unjust, unkind, unfair, vote that was ever taken".
japan request rejected were:
to lift the global ban on commercial whaling
the right to coastal whaling
has closed one of the most divisive IWC reunion of those years.
year in Berlin.