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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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