March 31, 2014
Top UN Court Orders Japan to End Antarctic Whaling
Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States issued the following statement on the ruling of the International Court of Justice that Japan’s whaling program is a breach of the global whaling moratorium and lacks scientific legitimacy in regard to the quotas set and the numbers taken.
“This important ruling exposes Japan’s whaling as a thinly disguised attempt to thwart the global ban on commercial whaling,” says Kitty Block, vice president of Humane Society International. “Japan has a duty to honor this ruling.”
Humane Society International also extended its deepest appreciation to the Australian government for showing resolute leadership in bringing this case.
The ICJ ruled that Japan’s whaling program as currently constituted violates section 10(e) of the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling -- which is the 1982 ban on commercial whaling – and that Japan’s whaling activities do not qualify under the exemption for research whaling provided by the ICRW, specifically in regards to the quotas set and the numbers taken.
Humane Society International has long advocated that Japan stop whaling in both the Southern Ocean and the North Pacific, where it operates on the same flawed justification of carrying on a scientific program. Instead, Japan should re-focus its research efforts to use non-lethal techniques, join in ongoing multilateral research programs such as the Southern Ocean Research Program, strengthen the whale watching industry in Japan, and join the nations of the world actively trying to advance a wider conservation agenda within the International Whaling Commission, scheduled to meet in Slovenia in September 2014.
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