|Tuesday, December 30, 2008|
Japan Contemptuously Dismisses Australian Concerns for the Whales
The Japanese government has made it very clear that they have no respect and not a modicum of concern for the opinions of the Australian people over the whaling controversy.
Japan's official spokesperson for the whaling industry, Glen Inwood of New Zealand, has boasted to the media that, "Public opinion in Australia does not matter."
This quote was published in the December 29th edition of the West Australian newspaper.
Mr. Inwood said that Japan and the Institute for Cetacean Research do not recognize Australia's nor New Zealand's claims to any territorial waters off Antarctica.
"So as Japan pretends to be in diplomatic discussions with the Australian government, they simply see diplomacy as a delaying tactic as they continue to kill whales," said Sea Shepherd Captain Paul Watson. "They are playing the Rudd government for fools."
Mr. Inwood believes that with the Australian government effectively intimidated and firmly in the pocket of Japan, that the opinions of the Australian people are no longer relevant.
Australians and New Zealanders are not amused at the arrogance of the bought and paid for Kiwi, Mr. Inwood, who has been Japan's apologist for whaling for the last few years.
"The man is a traitor to New Zealand," said Sea Shepherd engineer Willie Houtman of Auckland. "New Zealanders love whales and this guy may represent Japanese interests but he certainly does not reflect the feelings of the majority of New Zealanders who view Japanese whaling in Antarctica as savage, cruel, and ecologically destructive."
Reaction is running stronger in Australia in response to Japan's arrogance.
The following article in the Australian made this point very clear:
Call for Whaling War on Japan
Former Australian Environment Minister Ian Campbell, a passionate anti-whaler, has accused the Rudd Government of "running up the white flag" on its efforts to stop Japanese whaling.
Anti-whaling campaigners say they have driven the Japanese whaling fleet out of Australian Antarctic waters into New Zealand's.
Mr Campbell, a board member of the hardline Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, yesterday called on Canberra to "go to war with Japan" on the whaling issue.
The Labor Government had gone soft on Japan and needed to quickly restore clout and credibility to the International Whaling Commission, the former Liberal senator said.
Mr Campbell said he opposed taking legal action in an international court and the use of Australian Defence Force assets in the whaling standoff with Japan.
"I want them (the federal Government) to have votes at the whaling commission," he said. "I want the whaling commission to be controversial and uncomfortable for the Japanese.
"I want this Government to go to war on this."
At the last meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Santiago, Chile, Environment Minister Peter Garrett let the Japanese whalers off the hook by agreeing with them not to vote on any resolutions. The only thing they agreed to vote on was to condemn the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society actions in the Southern Whale Sanctuary to protect whales.
Captain Paul Watson and former Environment Minister Ian Campbell attended the meeting in Santiago and were both appalled at the lack of initiative and resolve demonstrated by the IWC attendees who allowed the Japanese delegation to walk all over them for the first time.
"Ever since that meeting, the Japanese have been emboldened by the weakness they saw on the part of the Australia, New Zealand, and American delegations," said Captain Watson. "They now feel they can do whatever they desire in the Southern Ocean. Australia may have a claim to the Australian Antarctic Territory and it may say so on the nautical charts and the maps but the reality is that Japan has laid claim to this territory in practice and has taken the position they can do with it whatever they desire. The charts should be redrawn to reflect this as the Japanese Antarctic Territory because clearly the Australian government is not interested in defending the sovereignty of their claim."
On December 20th, the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin caught the Japanese fleet hunting for whales in the Australian Antarctic Territorial Economic Exclusion Zone. Australia has no patrol boats in the area to monitor trespassing or to enforce conservation or fishery regulations.