Japan justifies killing of whales

2013-07-02 21:16
Fishermen slaughter a 10m-long bottlenose whale at the Wada port in Minami-Boso city. (Yoshikazu Tsuno, AFP)

Fishermen slaughter a 10m-long bottlenose whale at the Wada port in Minami-Boso city. (Yoshikazu Tsuno, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

International court to rule on whaling

2013-06-26 11:16

The International Court of Justice is about to begin hearing a case that could end whaling in the Antarctic. Watch.WATCH

The Hague - Japan launched an impassioned defence on Tuesday of its harpooning of whales in the icy seas around Antarctica, insisting the hunt is legal because it gathers valuable scientific data that could pave the way to a resumption of sustainable whaling in the future.

The country is arguing a case brought by Australia to the United Nations' highest judicial organ that seeks to outlaw its annual killing of hundreds of whales in Antarctic waters.

"It is true that Japan takes and kills whales," the country's deputy foreign minister, Koji Tsuruoka, told the International Court of Justice, on the first day of arguments. "Should we be ashamed of it? Even if some people believe we should, that does not mean we are in breach of international law."

Tsuruoka implicitly accused Australia of launching the case to impose on Japan its cultural aversion to whaling rather than to right an international legal wrong.

"It falls to the court to rule on the lawfulness of the acts undertaken by states, not on their morality or their ethical value," he said. "For some people, whales are sacred animals like cows are for Hindus. Religions and cultures perceive animals in different fashions."

Under a 1946 treaty regulating whaling, nations can grant permits to kill whales for scientific research.

Lawyers for Australia argue that Japan's scientific whaling programme was set up simply to sidestep a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling. Meat from the whales ends up on plates in homes and restaurants across Japan, where the flesh is considered a delicacy.

"No other nation, before or since, has found the need to engage in lethal scientific research on anything like this scale," Australian Solicitor-General Justin Gleeson told the judges last week. Australia argues that such research can be carried out without killing whales.

Resumption of whaling

But Tsuruoka said the hunt is designed to provide the International Whaling Commission with valuable data that would allow it to grant a resumption of whaling in a sustainable way, unlike the mass carnage of unregulated whaling that pushed many species of the giant marine mammals to the brink of extinction in the last century.

Lawyer Alain Pellet, representing Japan, also argued that the court does not even have jurisdiction to hear the case because Australia has expressed reservations in the past about the court's jurisdiction in maritime cases.

Geert Vons, of the Dutch arm of the Sea Shepherd conservation group that has battled Japanese whalers on the high seas for years, dismissed Japan's scientific justification for authorising the hunting of minke, fin and humpback whales - though no humpback whales have been killed.

"How can science hold if it means the killing of these three species which are on the list of endangered species?" he said. "It does not make sense."

Hearings in The Hague are scheduled to wrap up on 16 July and the 16-judge world court will take months to issue a judgment.

Australia is hoping it could come before year's end so that if judges rule to ban whaling it would be in time to prevent the Japanese fleet setting off for Antarctic waters the next Southern Hemisphere summer.

- AP
Read more on:    sea shepherd  |  iwc  |  australia  |  japan  |  marine life  |  animals
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
18 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!

Nothing, and we mean nothing, will keep goalkeeper Scott Stirling from stopping the ball!

 
 

Men24.com

Hottie of the day: Jesselyn
This invention makes farts smell like chocolate!
11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Grandiose ideas and plans can trip you up today. Keep things in context and take one step at a time....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.