Contents

●Symposium: For conservation of endangered species - Responsibility of Japan as Import country of the wildlife
    Japanese Environmental Ministry

Handling of ivory in Japan: from the import to the sale(9th Jul. 2015)

International trade regulations regarding conservation of endangered species(9th Jul. 2015)

Smuggling of endangered species, and voices from ex situ conservation facilities
    - in the case of conservation of slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus)
(9th Jul. 2015)

Wildlife trade - World and Japan trends(9th Jul. 2015)

●Aichi Target 3

A study on the effects of stimulus measures on biodiversity(3rd Oct.2014) 


ICJ Judgment : Whaling in the Antarctic
(Australia v. Japan: New Zealand intervening)

   Future policies for Japan’s Whale Research Program(1st,Jul,2014)

   Brief overview of Japan’s future policies for Research Whalin(1st,Jul,2014)

●Green Economy
   Expectation for Green Economy:a Message from Japan as a Miniature of the World(5th,Jan,2012)

●The Committee on Special Permit Research Whaling 2011   
    Japanese Fisheries Agency

    Committee Member's Opinion(24th,Nov,2011)
 
    Interim Report ≪3/3≫(13th,Sep,2011)
    Interim Report ≪2/3≫(6th,Sep,2011)
    Interim Report ≪1/3≫(6th,Sep,2011)

    Minutes of the 2nd Meeting  ≪5/5≫(30th,Aug,2011) 
    Minutes of the 2nd Meeting  ≪4/5≫(30th,Aug,2011)
    Minutes of the 2nd Meeting  ≪3/5≫(30th,Aug,2011)
    Minutes of the 2nd Meeting  ≪2/5≫(30th,Aug,2011)
    Minutes of the 2nd Meeting  ≪1/5≫(30th,Aug,2011)

    "Is it really necessary to continue the research even considering the extremely high costs?”(7th,Jul,2011)   

    Minutes of the 1st Meeting ≪2/2≫(5th,Jul,2011)
    Minutes of the 1st Meeting ≪1/2≫(5th,Jul,2011)

    The Committee : member(5th,Jun,2011)

    Meeting Schedule(5th,Jul,2011)

    Japan's Special Permit Research Whaling and an Overview of Whaling(21th,Jun,2011)

    <Note> 
    Organisation of Fisheries Agency(18th,Aug,2011)

    The Japan Fisheries Agency’s failure to differentiate between Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd(25th,Jun,2011)

●NGO Report:  Whaling
    The Whaling Debate in Japan(21th,Jun,2011)

    Whale Meat –rapidly increasing stocks and a huge potential stock Excluded Iceland’s Fin Whale in the Japanese National Survey(14th,Jun,2011)

●Book
    "Of Whales,Whaling and Whale Watching in Japan: A conversation"(5th,Jul,2011)

    Book Review   Whaling(25th,Jun,2011)

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2015-07-09

Wildlife trade - World and Japan trends

Tomomi Matsumoto (Programme Officer of TRAFFIC EAST ASIA - JAPAN)

Japan is one of the world's biggest importing countries of wildlife, ranking third place in animals, plants, and amphibians, and the fourth in birds and reptiles.  As of plants, it marks third-place rank in Orchidaceae, the most actively traded ones among CITE-species, and also Cacti being at the same level.

Among all imported CITES-species and its products to Japan, plants occupy about 30%, devoting the rest for animals, reptiles being the largest and taking up more than half.  According to 2012 annual report, the number of import counted more than 47,000.

64% of imported animals are leather products, most are crocodile and alligator skins which derived from both wild species and captive-bred. Almost all plants are live, captive-bred. Much of imported plants are ornamental orchid species.  For plants, almost all the imported ones are live, captive bred orchid species for decoration purpose.

Several pet shops in Japan trade rare reptiles, attracting customers with world's rare species.  Some are priced few million yen an individual!

A product fetches higher price as it gets rarer.  As a consequence, illigal trade always exists even though productive countries ban capture as well as CITES bans international trade.

Various plants and animal species are used in Japan, medicines (oriental medicines) and cosmetics for example.  In addition, many are used traditional crafts products, which are playing significant roles in traditional indigenous culture.  For at least this moment of time, humans depend heavily on natural resources for so many goods and services.

International wildlife trade, whether it's legal or not, has changed its form at global level to meet different needs, and expanding as ever.  Globalization, availability of IT, and social instability are the major reasons, but impact of economic growth of emerging country is also a great contributing factor.

The reported rhinos poaching cases in the Republic of South Africa were only 13 in 2007, the number skyrocketed to 1,215 in 2014.  Rhino horns had been traditionally used in Asian medicines, and Japan, too, used to export a lot of them for ingredients of popular medicines.  After Japan stopped importing the horns in 1980, and Honk Kong, Korea and China stopped consuming them in some times in 90's, the numbers of rhinos poaching dropped.  However, the poaching has been on a verge of revival as the recent demand increase from Vietnam.  There, people want rhino horns as panaceas, and some wealthy elites buy them as a means of showing off their status and power.

Approximately 25,000 elephants were poached in Africa in 2011 alone.

CITES has monitored poaching and illegal trade over African elephants and ivories. The report shows the poaching numbers have been increasing drastically since 2009.  Since 2010, the number became beyond the carrying capacity (natural reproductive capacity), concerning some regional extinction may occur.

Similarly, the volume of confiscated goods from illegal trade have been increasing drastically since 2009, and in 2011 it reached the level of approximately three times more than that of 2009's.  The major markets in modern day are in China and Thailand.  Escalation in the scale of confiscations suggests some kind of crime syndicates, which have sufficient funds and network to fuel and support their activities, are involved with the trade.

In early 1980's, ivories were most actively traded in Japan, ivories corresponding approximately 500,000 elephants entered the country.  However, Japan established the domestic trade control system in response to international trade ban of African elephant in 1989, and succeeded to change the overstocked market into healthy, sustainable one.

London Declaration was signed at London Conference, held in February of 2014, focusing on ensuring effective Legal system and deterrent to eliminate illegally traded products, strengthening of law enforcement, and securing the sustainability and economic growth of local communities.  In such global determination toward wildlife crime, Japanese contribution is being questioned and a point of attention.

Problems Japan has to tackle are to prevent rare species getting out of country and to eradicate online wildlife trade.

There is no doubt Japanese trade control systems are behind from those of other advanced countries' and need some improvement.  I, personnel to have worked in such environment, suggest introduction of more rigid measures such as monitoring are indispensable to conventional Japanese systems to reduce illegal trade.

TRAFFIC poll finding revealed recognition and concern toward rare species or species extinction are low among younger generations.  This is another momentous issue in terms of wildlife conservation.

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Smuggling of endangered species, and voices from ex situ conservation facilities - in the case of conservation of slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus)

Akira Kato (Head of Public Awareness Section, Academic Division at Japan Monkey Centre (JMC))

As a result of addition of slow loris to Appendix I at CITES COP 14th in June of 2007, international commercial trade of the species had been prohibited.  In response to the implementation, Japan domestically designated it as an endangered species of the Japanese LCES in the following September.  Since then permit is required to capture, transport, or sell it, making slow loris trade very difficult and penalties more severe.

The decline of slow loris population is attributed to forest destruction.  While forest deforestation deteriorates environment, at the same time, it is the basis for local people livelihood and is hard to be stopped right away.

Neither importing nor exporting countries benefit from illegal trade.  Furthermore, the profit by illegal trade (poaching, smuggling, and illicit sale) fuel anti-social forces.  Thus slow loris smuggling is a serious problem.

JMC sheltered two slow lorises in 1999, 11 from Narita in 2006 and 34 in 2007.

Many slow lorises are found with their bones being broken or dislocated because they are crammed into small boxes or sacks.

To make wild lorises suitable as a pet, their teeth are cut off (de-fang) with a nipper.  The mutilation often causes severe infection.  Only in a few hours their heads swollen like a ball, resulting some individuals to die in the end.

A tool to catch slow lorises is a slingshot, which is commonly sold in a market and people use daily to shoot off nuts and fruits grew up too high in trees. Mud balls are used usually for throwballs to avoid damaging the target, the animal.

Small numbers of slow lorises are traded at the back of street markets and at pet shop stall in town.

This is very simple, lorises are traded because there are demands.  Therefore, trade can be stopped if people don’t want them.

As of 2013, 89 slow lorises are kept in zoos, more than one third of them are sheltered individuals.  Only 10 offspring are born from 89 individuals, showing the breeding of slow loris is very difficult.

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International trade regulations regarding conservation of endangered species

Professor Nobuo Ishii (Tokyo Woman's Christian University)

CITES sets the export quotas of CITES-listed species to the Parties at level enough for the species to sustain healthy ecosystem.  CITES is excellent in terms of ecological point of views because it is based on a belief the Parties should consider maintaining adequate number of the species when exporting, in order to avoid the species to be listed in Appendix I. It focuses on prevention of extinction while taking ecological roles of the species in ecosystem into account.

At the times of the establishment of CITES, people concerned many species would be on the verge of extinction if unsustainable wildlife trades continued.  Thus, they believed regulations and ban on international wildlife trades were inevitable approaches for species conservation. 

Although protective effect is thought to be much stronger for the CITES-listed species than non-listed ones, the actual implementation is not as simple as it looks.

According to IUCN reports, up to 80% or 90% of all the significant threat to endangered species is habitats loss.  In contrast, the influence of wildlife trade related to CITES is lesser.

Trade ban on Appendix I specimens may induce adverse effects.  This does not necessarily apply to all, but is indeed true in quite a lot of cases.

Trade ban takes away income sources to the communities which rely heavily on wildlife trades thus the CITES regulation implementation can severely deteriorate legal economical activities.

Profitable wildlife is often abundant in unwealthy, developing countries.  Prohibition of trades is a fetter to those governments to allocate national budgets for species and habitat conservation, and can lead to conservation cost reduction.  If government incentives were reduced, in response to CITES ban, local community people living with profitable wildlife would no longer afford protecting species, the assets.  Thus, establishment of cashback systems to bring profit to local people is inevitable.

The population of the species we try to protect eventually diminishes, and the local peoples soon lose their interest in conservation of the species and their habitats.  Then they would seek other ways to make livings, by development and selling forest trees.  Such trends are already observed around sharks and African elephant.

The merit of Appendix II is it allows some exceptions while regulating trade.  It produces profits which can be used for wildlife protection as well as development of local economy.  If local people understand wildlife is important assets for their economy, they become eager to protect and manage them.  In addition, it would make easier for the governments to allot budgets to such conservation projects, even more enhancing the local people’s ambitions for protecting the wildlife as own assets or improvement of their lives. 

For example, vicugna (Vicugna vicugna), a South American camelid, was once targeted for poaching because of its wool, which traded expensive as raw material of wool fabric.  The population kept declining and in 1860’s, the loss reached the peak of 5,000 individuals, and, as a result, the species was listed on Red List.  To improve the situation, local people captured it alive instead of killing it, to shave like sheep-shearing and released back to wild.

After South American governments have allowed trade and introduced system of returning profits to communities, the population of vicugna increased to 350,000, according to 2008 estimates, and the species were un-listed from the Red List.  The regulation status of vicugna trades in Ecuador changed from total ban to exemption when the proposal was adopted at 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties.   

Furthermore, Mexico proposed down-listing of the Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) so that the future trades of the species would be possible, and the proposal was adopted. Similar proposal was submitted by Guatemala, which was deferred at the moment because of the smaller population size.

At 8th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (Kyoto, 1992), “Recognition of the Benefits of Trade in Wildlife” was adopted.  At the Conference of Parties, the professionals committed to CITES, recognized that restricted commercial wildlife trades which are kept in levels that will not lead to extinction of species, but instead beneficial for conservation of species and ecosystems, or development of the local community. 

CITES was established as a means of universal wildlife protection by limiting wildlife trade because many people thought “any kinds of international wildlife trade were bad no matter what”.  However, as indigenous cultural practices, beliefs, and economic situations of local communities are widely recognized, the treaty has geared its focus to more flexible, community-based conservation, and creates (amends) rules to control of international wildlife trades in sustainable way, allocating profits gained from the trades to regional wildlife conservation activities.  Thus, in terms of wildlife conservation, some people argue it would be more effective Appendix II (allowed limited trade) than Appendix I (generally trade was prohibited).

At 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties, Zambia proposed for transfer of African elephant from Appendix I to Appendix II because they were able to control the elephant poaching within limited budgets.  Although they claimed products under the influence were live elephants and raw/processed skins, no ivories included, the proposal was rejected.  This was the typical case of misjudgment by Conference of the Parties. 

At 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties, when the United States proposed to up-list polar bears from Appendix II to Appendix I to ban trade, many Parties went against it because the declining of polar bear population was blamed on global warming and not the international trade.  The proposal was rejected after all.  We are deeply concerned with such unreasonable claims the United States makes. 

When judging whether commercial international wildlife trade is good or bad, we need to be more permissive to approve ones that don’t affect population sizes.  At the same time, we also need to carefully observe any unfavorable results the wildlife trade induces to sustainability of species. We have to allow trade if it is within the allowable range, while we have to combat illegal activities.

Not all commercial trades are bad.  What kind of impacts they pose to conservation is what we should consider.

The parties who went against the Zambian proposal must have thought the decision would lead to the perfect protection of the elephant, but we are afraid they were not looking at the whole picture.  It is very unlikely trade ban would be an absolute solution to the problem.  Local community people who live around elephants would not understand why trade is banned. 

CITES needs to focus more on how operative and effective the regulations are on the field.  It is not too difficult to encounter cases where universal trade bans don’t work as means of species protection; rhinos, tigers, and African elephants, etc.

Trade ban should never be imposed when possibility of the extinction is low with scientific evidences.

We should try to create and provide optimum environments so that species can independently sustain their own population to function in ecosystems.  Unfortunately, it is doubtful we are doing them well.

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Handling of ivory in Japan: from the import to the sale

Tsuyoshi Tsurumi (Executive Director of Tokyo Ivory Arts and Crafts Association)

Shosoin treasures, almost of which were collected during Nara period (710 to 794 AD), indicate ivory products were already existed in Japan at the time.

The 7th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (Lausanne, Switzerland, 1989) adopted the proposal to include African Elephant in CITES Appendix I -previously Appendix II - which lead to the ban of ivory trade.   However, several countries in Southern African region were against the decision, and submitted proposals to include African Elephant in CITES Appendix II at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (Harare, Zimbabwe, 1997).  As a result, African Elephant was listed CITES Appendix II in Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Botswana, and approximately 50 tons of ivory were exported to Japan in spring of 1999.  In the next following year, African elephant in Republic of South Africa, too, was include in CITES Appendix II with some reservation during 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (Gigiri, Kenya, 2000).  Japan and China were chosen as partner countries of the monitored trade, and approximately 40 tons of ivory was imported in spring of 2009.

Numbers of ivory products are being kept in storehouses in Kruger National Park in South Africa.  They are derived either from dead elephants (due to natural death or vermin control), seized from poachers, and unknown sources, and sorted and secured strictly.  The illegal and unknown source ivory products are doomed never to be on market.

Trades are under the supervision of the CITES Secretariat.  All imported ivory goods are first to be carefully checked if packages are tightly sealed or contain any errors with CITES Secretariat, then traders finally receive them after the thorough inspections.

Three obligations imposed on wildlife traders in Japan who deal with CITES-listed species are:
1)Submission of the notifications.  Required for international commercial trades.
2)Entry and retain of trade transaction record account book.  Traders must report them annually and keep them for five years.
3)Agreement on On-the-Spot Inspection by Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Economy.

Traders first have to register ivory products to Japan Wildlife Research Center and receive certificates.  Then they are allowed to start trading ivory products.

If cut or modify ivory goods, traders must return the certificates to Japan Wildlife Research Center within 30 days. Then prepare management charts on their own to provide necessary information such as acquisition routes, and attach them to the goods to prove they are legally imported.

Management system of ivory trade is well established in Japan.  Application of business permits, preparation and management of trade transaction records, registration of product materials, preparation of management charts, and applying for certificates to display the products are legally approved, and list goes on.  Japan was accepted in regards of such decent systems on ivory trade.   

Problems for the primary source countries;
1)Lack of Effective measures to prevent (minimize) conflict between humans and elephants.
2)Shortage of human resources.  Too few personnel to cover vast areas.
3)Shortage of fund.  Too little money to hire additional personnel to improve present conditions.  More money is needed to combat poachers and to purchase necessary equipment for conservation and management.

Conservation activities and various sustainable activities of the primary source countries require indigenous resource management systems.   Furthermore, appropriate measures have to be taken for local people to “want” to protect wildlife.

Zimbabwe’s CAMPFIRE (Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources) program entrusts local communities with wildlife managements.   The locals have freedom of making their own decisions about the use of wildlife resources and benefit from it.

In Namibia, wildlife has traditionally been managed by land owners from the past.  Likewise, NGOs have introduced talented and skilled personnel to communities for sustainable wildlife managements so that locals can make enough for living.  The revenue goes to the communities, rather than the individuals.  Also importantly, female participation is one of the notable characteristic of the program.

In other countries, there are some examples of elephant conservation with local communities, creating guidelines, and employing local people for the project.

Ownership of wildlife basically belongs to the nation.  However, the department of wildlife allots catch quota to the local communities, and the communities raise money by selling the catch quota to hunting industries.   Such profit reduction system eventually change the way people look at elephant, from vermin to assets.

Transboundary conservation efforts are inevitable because elephants migrate freely regardless of country borders.   It is essential that Organizing wildlife management systems beyond national boundaries, cooperation with large-scaled, internationally organizations to combat illegal hunting and trades,  collaboration and cooperation in working among the law enforcement agencies of the respective countries, which involve primary source countries, transit countries and destination countries. Additionally, local people’s raising Awareness and encouraging people by national governments of combating illegal trades; these are the common recognition in the primary source countries.

Ivory managements cost a lot.  Therefore, the primary source countries argue it is rather beneficial to sell out obtained ivories (from elephants that naturally died or killed as a result of vermin control) and allocate the profits to elephant conservation and management.  Our organization supports this idea.

Primary source countries collect ivories from naturally died elephants and properly manage them, and report the fact to the CITES Secretariat.  When these ivories are legally traded with CITES certified partners, the primary source countries receive the profits and use them for elephant conservation and management.  Wildlife conservation activities could be funded from wildlife resources if such rotation cycle are established and functioned.

Our approaches to conservation since 1985 are very sincere.  For example, we have contributed funds to the ivory-related programs of CITES (including 1997 established MIKE (Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants)), educated union members, conducted researches in the primary source countries, and attended CITES CoP to gain information and distributed it. 

For over a century, our organization has held annual “zou-kuyou”, memorial services, and never forgets the sense of appreciation for elephants.

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2014-10-04

Aichi Target 3 A study on the effects of stimulus measures on biodiversity

 The Aichi Biodiversity Target 3 “Incentives Reformed” is a difficult topic as it requires knowledge of both natural and social sciences, and the combined efforts of different branches of government.

 The JWCS Aichi Target 3 Committee was formed in 2012, linking researchers and NGOs, in order to study and advise on stimulus measures that affect biodiversity, both positively and negatively.

 The committee has issued interim reports, in 2012 and 2014, which are posted on the JWCS website. This current report details a selection of stimulus programs in order to demonstrate certain points that require attention for the realization of Target 3. The number of related topics is so huge that this report is not exhaustive but merely a preparatory report.

 As you read the details of this report you will see that the prevailing tendency for policies to center on development and industry is being driven in a new direction giving far more consideration to the environment. There are problems however in that the philosophy and general principles are often not reflected in action on the ground, and even when they are, those principles are not adopted generally or applied across the board. There are many such examples of the disadvantages of Japan’s horizontally segregated “vertical administrative system.” For example, there are numerous policies such as recycling, low-carbon and co-existence with nature, all aimed at creating a more sustainable society, but when we inspect individual cases we find that even under new policies for energy, public works or industrial stimulation, old systems are perpetuated, creating endless inconsistencies. The initiatives for the process of reconstruction after the Great East Japan Earthquake are a prime example of the inconsistencies present in the current situation in Japan. While there are local programs in planning for environmental protection and conservation of biodiversity, the project to build a huge sea wall several hundred kilometers long is going ahead without proper assessment of the environmental impact. Even though there are numerous things to taken into consideration; regional land use and living conditions, the ecosystem (the interconnection of forests, the sea and human communities) and fisheries, etc.; even though there is an abundance of approaches that could be employed to further recovery from the disaster and prevent further such mishaps, these are ignored while the public construction juggernaut rumbles on. The fact that many barely relevant projects are being financed by this massive public investment has been pointed out and has even gained the attention of the media. There are examples of divergence between the intent of initiatives and the actual execution of policy.

 Among the many problems that have come to light with the nuclear accident in Fukushima, we must note the “it couldn’t happen here” mindset, the fact that the precautions against accidents did not work as planned, and that the nuclear power program has gone ahead without a complete solution to the problem of final repositories for radioactive wastes. Effectively, the economic aspect (short term cost-benefit), which may even be said to have led to the accident, has continually been given priority, while the “back-end” processes of clearing up after the accident and decontaminating the affected area, continue to be handled in a belated, ad hoc manner.

 Though these examples of problems and inconsistencies involve a variety of complex aspects, there are many more that can be mentioned, such as the Isahaya Bay Reclamation Project (Nagasaki prefecture) and the US Marine base relocation project, in dugong habitat, at Henoko in Okinawa. Nevertheless, not all the news is so gloomy. There are several developing bright spots. The rest of this document is devoted to real examples of field programs in the survey stage which may be instructive.
 We hope they will provide inspiration for future work around the country.

                                                      JWCS Aichi Target 3 Committee

Report 1: Attaining Aichi Biodiversity Target 3 and the Switch to a Green Economy
Report 2: Report : Attaining Aichi Biodiversity Target 3 and the Switch to a Green Economy. -A Study on Stimulus Measures that have an Effect on Biodiversity? Part 2- Summary

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2014-07-01

Future policies for Japan’s Whale Research Program

http://www.jfa.maff.go.jp/j/press/koho/pdf/danwa.pdf

[This translation is not official]

Future policies for Japan’s Whale Research Program: 
-  Remarks by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

April 18, 2014

A judgment has been made in the “Whaling in the Antarctic” case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and Japan has established the following future whaling policies. They are outcomes of the discussions on Japan’s future whaling policies based on international law and scientific grounds, from a stand point of sincerely addressing conservation and management of cetaceans .

1. Basic policy

The Judgment of the Court confirms that one of the purposes of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling is the sustainable use of cetacean resources. Taking account of which, Japan will, with the cooperation of the concerned government institutions, firmly maintain the basic principle that it should continue to conduct research whaling based on international law and scientific principles, for the collection of scientific information essential for management of cetaceans, with the aim of resuming commercial whaling. 

2. Policy for future whaling programs (after FY2015) in the Antarctic and the North-west Pacific

With regards to research whaling both in the Antarctic and in the North-west Pacific from FY 2015, the related ministries and agencies will make a closely coordinated effort to submit a new research program to the IWC’s Scientific Committee reflecting the conditions specified in the judgment by fall 2014.

In this effort, transparency will be ensured through the participation of distinguished scientists from Japan and overseas, discussion in IWC Scientific Committee workshops and coordination with related research programs.

With regard to illegal violence by anti-whaling organizations, which the Court labelled “regrettable sabotage activities”, the relevant agencies will discuss countermeasures suited to the new research plan, from a view point of ensuring the safety of the research fleet, researchers and crew.

3. Whale Research Program in 2014

1) Antarctic: To conform to the ICJ judgment, the Second Phase of the Japanese Whale Research Program under Special Permit in the Antarctic (JARPA II) will be cancelled.

2) North-west Pacific: In the light of the ICJ judgment, the Second Phase of the Japanese Whale Research Program under Special Permit in the North-west  Pacific (JARPN II) will be carried out on a reduced scale by, for example, limiting the research objectives.

3) In the formulation of the research program for FY2015, necessary measures will be introduced to conform to the objectives of the ICJ judgment, including feasibility evaluation of nonlethal research such as DNA sampling in the North-west Pacific.

*Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries  Hayashi Yoshimasa (LDP)

*Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary, the Government of Japan(March 31, 2014)
http://www.mofa.go.jp/press/danwa/press2e_000002.html

Translation
JWCS Volunteer staff: Junko Matsuoka, Simon Varnam

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Brief overview of Japan’s future policies for Research Whaling

http://www.jfa.maff.go.jp/j/press/koho/pdf/gaiyou.pdf

[This translation is not official]

Brief overview of Japan’s future policies for Research Whaling

1.Basic Policy

・Japan will firmly maintain its policy that it should aim for resumption of commercial whaling, on the basis that cetaceans should be utilized as important food resources in a sustainable way on a scientific basis.

・Japan will conduct research whaling, building on the intent of the ICJ judgment.

2.Policy for future whaling programs after FY2015 in the Antarctic and the North-west Pacific

・Japan will submit and implement new plans for research whaling both in the Antarctic and the North-west Pacific to IWC Science Committee in 2015.

・Until new plans for research whaling are implemented, the government of Japan will consider drastic measures against obstruction by anti-whaling organizations.

3.Whale Research Program in 2014

・In the Antarctic, research whaling will not employ capture but only visual observation.

・In the North-west Pacific, research whaling for specific research objectives will be carried out in accordance with the following quotas.

・Investigations will be made into the possibilities of DNA sampling and other non-lethal research methods besides visual observation.

<Reference>

Coastal whaling Minke whale 120→About 100
Off-shore whaling Minke whale 100→0
Bryde's whale 50→About 20
Sei whale 100→About 90
Sperm whale 10→0

*Catch quotas will be finalized after close examination following hearings of scientists’ views.

Translation
JWCS Volunteer staff: Junko Matsuoka, Simon Varnam

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2012-01-05

Expectation for Green Economy: a Message from Japan as a Miniature of the World

Expectation for Green Economy: a Message from Japan as a Miniature of the World
Towards Rio+20

Interview with Prof. Koyu Furusawa of Kokugakuin University,
Board member of JWCS and chief executive of JACSES
Rio1_3
Rio2

[NGO global forum in Earth Summit, Rio 1992 Photos by Koyu Furusawa]

--Until today, the Earth Summit has been overseeing the changing times like a metering rod. Coming Earth Summit, dubbed ‘Rio+20’, is said to be “a restart after 20 years since 1992, Rio conference”
What is the implication of coming Earth Summit and what trend of the times does it have?

Prof. Koyu Furusawa (Honorifics and first name omitted from below): The Earth Summit in 1992 was the starting point of a new age in many ways. The Cold War structure was dismantled by the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. With that, questions have been raised from the point of view of "the global scale problem" for the first time, and such recognition has since spread across the world. For example, the original draft of “If the world were a village of 100 people”, which became the talk on the streets, was written by Dr. Donella Meadows. She was a member of the Club of Rome (famous for the report “The Limits to Growth”). She conveyed simple messages from “If the World were a Village of 1000 People”, which became the origin of “If the world were a village of 100 people”. Coming Rio+20 will not be a nation-centered but a global-citizen-centered summit. Going back to the fundamental standpoint, it will be an assembly for discussing what has happened in the past 20 years in our global village, and what is going to happen in the 20 years ahead in our global world.

In Earth Summit 92’, two legally binding agreements, Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Convention on Biological Diversity, were signed. Now we are facing and being asked to reconsider whether we can really make these treaties, which haven’t been quite utilized yet, work. UNFCCC puts an agenda for ending the “fossil fuel civilization”, which breaks down the balance on the earth by using up exhaustible resources such as petroleum. It also touches upon the related issues of global warming and resource problem. And also Convention on Biological Diversity is expected to build “living life civilization” which has a respect toward coexistence with nature in harmony. According to the Bio-diversity Convention, we now see that there is actually great value in the traditional cultures of the indigenous people and their rights and way of living, which have been ignored so far. Thinking afresh about the meaning of these two treaties born in Rio, I’m convinced that these are the two significant keys for transforming our modern civilization.

And in between 1972, 1992, and 2012, in spans of 20 years, history has been repeated in spiral, and the world has been changed more globally and dynamically. The United Nations held "Conference on Human Environment" in Stockholm in 1972. It was the first major conference on environmental problem in The United Nations.
This was the first wave of the swell of concerns on environment. Minamata disease patients, victim of organic mercury poisoning, from Japan also participated in this conference. They complained about the serious pollution problems and local corruption behind Japan's high-speed economic development. And what is more, it turned out this kind of disaster was not just a local problem of one country. For instance, DDT was found in the penguins of Antarctica. (DDT: organochlorine pesticides, banned in Japan since 1971) These chemical problems, including pesticide contamination began to spread around the world. For instance, due to such influences, birds couldn’t hatch eggs well. The red signal from wild life and the serious problem of their survival was one of the reasons behind the Conference on Human Environment in 1972. Shortly thereafter, an oil crisis occurred in 1973, and "Limits to Growth" gathered wide concerns in the world for the first time. The world population increased about 4 times over the 100 years of the Twentieth Century from 1.5~1.6 billion to 6 billion. The increase in energy consumption is nearly twice as huge, a 7~8 fold increase. The voices of "Limits of the earth"," Limits of resources" have been repeated in history like walking down a spiral staircase. And it has become more globally and seriously. The span of these 20 years is a more expanded form, and it is linking to Rio +20.

--It is said that the themes of Rio+20 are “green economy” related with poverty eradication and “institutional framework " related with reform of the world system and the United Nations. What are they going to discuss?

Furusawa: Underpinning the growth of energy use and population is economic system, basically. And by its globalization, the economy has become affluent with mass consumption enabled by the industrial production system since the Industrial Revolution. Moreover, it has been apart from “real economy” recently, and emerging “financial economy”; which gains profits by foreseeing how to withdraw investments, has come to dominate. Now, in this world economy the scale of financial assets is inflated to more than 3.5 times big against real economic activities. In particular, the problem of the US economy is very large. The US holds a debt (total debts of federal/state/local government, business, household and domestic financial sectors) which is estimated almost a match for World GDP (known as world gross domestic product or GWP). They are up to their neck. Meanwhile, if emerging countries like China and India has evolved economically on a large scale as an alternative, then the earth will no longer hold everything. Burden of the risk that we are holding now is just the tip of the iceberg and there are enormous hidden contradictions. We are forced to choose a structural change and the great transformation to find the exit.

Rio +20 has an aim to improve a socio-economic constitution of the world so called "green economy". It is called "A green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty reduction," but has not decided clear definition. However, the green economy would be considered not only as an economic level but also as a system to capture and hold social issues such as the alleviation of poverty and human rights. Along the way, UN reform has been required and also to be more specific, it is necessary to create a coexistence world in harmony by transforming various mechanism, institutions and the institutional framework. Traditionally, interaction of domestic and global economy and political system has been studied through the concept of "regime of international relations". Recently, various systems, institutions and power balance relations beyond the region of the country has been generated. Especially, the environmental regime has been formed as an intermediate position. For example, climate change towards a low carbon society is called "carbon regime". There are various problems and conflicts over it. We need to think about how we can adjust the complex issues in term of sustainability.

Particularly noteworthy in both the environment and economy is flow of military spending. Collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, military spending was reduced by the end of the Cold War. Philosophical principle presented at the Rio Summit in 1992 is as follows. Huge military expenditures used in the Cold War should allot for human welfare, North-South problem, eradication of poverty and environmental issues. And we should live in more peaceful together as global citizens. Once, world military expenditure was reduced, yet again rising well beyond $ 1 trillion annually today. It is nearly 10 times more than the total amount of the world's ODA (Official Development Assistance), about twice the amount of the cost which will be required to combat global warming (according to Stern Review) and 20 times of the amount required to be added to achieve MDGs (Millennium Development Goals).

When considering a green economy, we need to think about not only the introduction of energy conservation, renewable energy, the investment in Smart City, but also, in addition, we need to think about shifting to a fund of peaceful green economy from military expenditures, as the springboard of a major transformation. The thing is how we can convert this green economy into the economic conditions in the current global crisis and a very large strain and risk. There is a challenging task that whether we can open our eyes to the fundamental structural condition, and come out with effective countermeasures.

Originally ecology and economy are the same etymology. They are derived from the Greek word οἴκος. It represents "den", the world we are living. The word "Economy" was born as meaning of managing οἴκος. On the other hand, the term "ecology" was born as meaning of understanding the relationship between οἴκος and living nature conservation. In modern society they became entirely different meanings. But now again, people are considering that this is the starting point to integrate. Namely, it is the time to integrate an economy into greening (ecology).I think a change of awareness of people in "Richness" is happening and we are reconsidering about Happiness. In societies, without having to convert into money, we have many things to be able to enrich the world. Without having economic growth to be evaluated as money and energy intensive goods, without a job for earning a lot, without work greedily, without much money, people eventually go live slowly and peacefully.
Instead of dining out, people can reasonably enjoy the food that everyone brings along as a pot-luck party. We should focus more on real “living economy” not diverting money, shaping the world outlook for the economy in excess. Or should I say we will be on the way to "super economy". "Sufficiency Economy" has begun to be recognized among the people in Thailand and other Asian countries. Rather than just see the world through their own selfish interests, focus on relationships with others for living together. How dare we feel enriched if there are unfortunate people beside us? Again, we will have the richness of our heart, only after we share the wealth and prosperity with others. In this sense, we must consider broadening more of the whole concept of the "Green Economy".

-- Do you think the actual "UN reform" can produce a process for symbiosis? Also is there helpful hint? And toward what?

Furusawa: I suspect that EU and the U.S. may not work well in Rio+20. And emerging countries like Brazil, China and India also seem powerless when it comes to the “philosophical principal”. If countries can not fully function, an anchor should be "United Nations". UN should transcend all national interests and conflict of interests. There is a real need for UN to attempt finding a capability in cooperation with the NGOs. In order to position Rio +20 as the breakthrough, we must build up a series of concrete measures. At the same time, International Year of Cooperatives will be also held in 2012. In the reconstruction of the aftermath of the 3/11/2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, the SDF and U.S. forces, major courier and some convenience stores have been highly regarded. But I believe the cooperative sector has committed the most to some extent, such as Miyagi consumer Coop activities which organized local people widely. They supplyed various aid in cooperation among with all other cooperative sectors. In addition, they conducted extensive support in cooperation with local government. In this disaster, there were emerging a lot of cooperative and community activities in various areas. We have really recognized and reevaluated the importance of coordination of people, communities, regional cooperative organizations and NPOs.

Now we are facing the challenge of how to reestablish the communities from scratch.
Before 3.11, Tohoku, located in north east of Japan was an outlying region in this country. Because of aging population, Sanriku fishery and fishing industry had been getting to decline. This earthquake hit fishing cooperatives members and fishermen, now the old organizations are virtually on the verge of demolition. There are two major movements regarding this reconstruction. One of the movements is to remove all the fishing rights that have been practiced as the conventional resource management traditionally in the region. And then a huge capital will take over and make global fish business industry base in the area. It is a reconstructive movement that has the perspective of globalization aiming to form renewed base. Another movement is to center around the local scene. Cooperative organizations will be the core base of their community. It is a movement to develop a traditional relationship and try to compromise with each other cooperatively. Based on cooperation of subsistence fishery, formation of distribution channels more directly to consumers and the various economic zones, community has mainly begun creating a cooperative relationship. In order to prevail in the global market economy, whether we should rush toward to make the base for fish processing industry and industrial complex, or people of the area should autonomously manage and operate for the revival while keeping a local value and maintaining a cooperative philosophy….It has become a fierce argument but the debate for the situation is still very fuzzy.

In line with "public" as public administration and "private" as business companies, domain of "commune" or "cooperative of citizen/community" as social capital is also very important. Social capital is not visible such as material or infrastructure. Core of the capital is, though it is invisible, various relationships and a kind of network. It could be said it is the latent potential power of region and community. It is important how much you have connections and ties with diverse people. If you have it, it will exercise "resilience = readiness and adaptivity" against the risk of disaster. Human relations have been diluted in rapidly expanding commercial area restructuring and massive urban concentration for pursuit of convenience. However in local areas, the system of mutual aid still remains. Main pillar of green economy is not to expand conventional economy by using resources and energy intensively like nuclear energy, but to base the system of decentralization like renewable energy (including biomass). I believe that to continue to maintain an appropriate scale and local community is the key. Green economy should be strongly related with a sustainable "commune and cooperative" sector. (refer to [3 Socio-Economic Sectors])

3socioe

--Lastly, let me hear about future prospects of the movement in the world and Japan's role.

Furusawa: The biggest concern I have now is that someone may cause war. For nations where domestic problems and contradictions exist, the easy way for them to write off such a situation is to cause war and confrict to make enemies outside to find a way out. I feel most afraid this situation. Even if not that serious, in the days ahead, there will be unrest in countries for deepened conflicts over resource issues and so on. Now, the important way of life is "diversity" which expands various routes and network of adaptation. In this sense, for instance NGO which include diverse people shows you prospect of "Oh, I have this option in life". I think it will be widened and more and more interesting to seek an alternative way of living.

After 3.11, Japan has a chance to present to the world vision and scenario of recovery how our society turns over a new leaf. Japan caught up on the western civilization which the western society achieved over several centuries in a hundred years since the Meiji era. And about half a century after world war, Japan has achieved industrial rapid development and also run through post-industrial society. On the other hand of the bright side, Japan is now facing a contradiction of the modern development system, such as nuclear power plants or pollution problems. Japan has been running with holding inherent conflict of tremendous light and shadow. We have an obligation to share with people around the world the serious reality symbolized by "Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear bomb" "Minamata" and "Fukushima", nuclear plant accident. Appearance of conflict and coexistence of tradition and modernization is a common issue and problem faced by developing countries which is a majority of the world. For better or worse, Japan has condensed many kinds of lessons that world should consider now on. With a view the future civilization will further dematerialization, I think Japan has a tremendous amount of potential of latent cultural power, although national power in a sense of material civilization may be declined. Japan is a typical "miniature" when we view the modern world as the coexisting place for diverse (the intersection of culture and civilization). So we have to do self-disclosure to the world as a social and cultural experiment in a positive and negative way. Like I said before, it's time to find a value in those the most behind thing or the things used be disregarded. I feel hopefully Japan is now in the very best position to appeal to the world that the meaning of being the "A Miniature of the World " and show our potential of transformation.


Japanese Interview, Written by/ Kazuhiko Mori (The Earth News, Sep.2/2011)
Pool coverage/ alterna S, Earth Summit 2012 Japan
http://theearthnews.jp/#!/contents/1165

Related/URL: http://kuin.jp/fur/kaleidoss.htm
http://www.japanfs.org/en/pages/022673.html


Translation:
JWCS Volunteer staff: Ayumi Nakajima
Comp. and edit by Koyu Furusawa

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2011-11-24

Committee Member's Opinion

“Does research whaling require patrol boats?”

by Toru Takanarita (Asahi Asparaclub: Blog)


In July the Whaling Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) published its Interim Report. Speaking as one of the participants, I was not satisfied with the proceedings.

・・・Read more
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/5741710/My%20whaling%20articles%20public/Takanarita%20essay.pdf

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