New Japanese EU ambassador addressed by Hazekamp on whaling
At his first European Parliament meeting on 26 October, new Japanese EU ambassador Kazua Kodama was addressed directly by the Party for the Animals on the ongoing whaling activities in Japan. “This week we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the International Whaling Ban. In July, a majority of European Parliament has called on Japan to put an end to whale hunting. Is Japan going to ignore the European Parliament’s call?” MEP Anja Hazekamp asked Kodama.
In addition, the Party for the Animals has asked the ambassador to clarify why Japan has defeated the proposal to create a whale sanctuary in the South Atlantic, referring to a meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) last Tuesday, when members of 64 nations were brought together. During the meeting it was proposed that a new sanctuary would be realised in the southern part of the Atlantic, which would provide safety for dolphins and whales not only against hunting, but against other kinds of danger. Although all countries in the region supported the plans for a whale sanctuary, pressure from Japan has caused whaling nations to block the initiative.
“Yet Again, Japan has voted against measures to protect the whales, which is unbelievable. Saving whales from extinction is in everyone’s interest,” Hazekamp declared.
The Japanese ambassador indicated that his country voted against the protected area because it would interfere with Japanese whaling. He also stated that he does not intend to end Japanese whale hunting, by which he was referring to an exchange of letters earlier this year between his predecessor and the Party for the Animals. In her letter, Hazekamp pointed out a judgement of the International Court of Justice in The Hague stating that the whaling that took place in Japan in the past was illegal in that area. Like his predecessor, Kodama has declared that he interprets the judgement differently and sees scope to continue whale hunting.