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2011-07-07

"Is it really necessary to continue the research even considering the extremely high costs?”

Minutes of the 4th Meeting of the
Committee on Special Permit Research Whaling

Appendix 4

The present main issues and opinions

http://www.jfa.maff.go.jp/j/study/enyou/pdf/shiryo4_4.pdf

[The translation is not official.]

1. Legitimacy
・As scientific research whaling is a legitimate right protected under international law, there is no reason to stop the research.

(Translator's notes: In 2007 the IWC passed a resolution asking Japan to refrain from issuing a permit for lethal research in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary – the main Japanese whaling area.
http://www.iwcoffice.org/meetings/resolutions/Resolution2007-1.pdf )


・The Special Permit Research Whaling is a legitimate right protected under article 8 of International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, but it has experienced unjustified obstruction by activists. We should promote this situation to the public in Japan and overseas at every possible opportunity.

2. Scientific significance
・Scientific research whaling is economically significant, but we should highly value the significance of the research on the Antarctic ecosystem as food resources.

・From a scientific point of view, the academic significance of scientific research whaling in the Antarctic Ocean is very meaningful and the research level is the most advanced in the world.

・We value the scientific result of the research, however the research should be conducted under international cooperation in the IWC.

・Many whales were captured for the research, but does it have a scientific basis?

3. System and financial resources

・It is no longer possible to continue the current system whereby research expense is covered by sales revenues of whale meat which is by-product of the Special Permit Research Whaling.

・Considering the influence of obstruction by activists, we should review the current system funded by the sale of by-products and conduct the research under the national budget.

・If the research is conducted under national policy, we will surely face financial problems. We therefore should evaluate the economic rationality of the research.

・With regard to whale meat supply and demand, isn't it enough only to do coastal whaling? Is it really necessary to continue the research even considering the extremely high costs?

4. The effect of obstruction by anti-whaling NGO on the future of the research program

・An act of piracy under UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is defined broadly. Therefore, we suppose it is possible to question the legality of obstruction by activists under international piracy laws.

・We should not stop scientific research whaling in the Antarctic Ocean due to obstruction by anti-whaling NGO activists. It is necessary to discuss effective measures against the problem to continue the research.

・We must prevent ecological terrorists from increasing. If the Japanese government cannot take measures against the problem, we may have to suggest employing other independent security services.

・While obstruction by anti-whaling NGO activists are increasingly violent, is it really necessary to conduct the research in such a dangerous place, even sending Japan Coast Guard vessels?

・Though the research is a legitimate activity, we are opposed to sending Japan Coast Guard vessels to protect the research. We have to carefully discuss this issue as one of national strategy, taking into consideration international reaction to the use of JCG vessels .

5. Miscellaneous

・An urgent issue in management is to cover the losses due to suspension of the previous season’s research.

Translation:
JWCS Volunteer staff:  Mariko Kuroki ,  Simon Varnam

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