Subject: Info: JAPAN'S IWC POSITION

Michael Williamson (whe_william)
Mon, 9 Apr 1995 16:52:22

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From: Michael Williamson <WHE_WILLIAM@FLO.ORG>
Subject: Info: JAPAN'S IWC POSITION
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Subj:	JAPAN'S IWC POSITION
 
Date:         Thu, 6 Apr 1995 08:42:34 -0700
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From:         Alan Macnow <amacnow@igc.apc.org>
Subject:      JAPAN'S IWC POSITION
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To:           Multiple recipients of list MARMAM <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET>
 
 
 
                                     FROM: Alan Macnow
                                           Tele-Press Associates,Inc.
                                           321 E. 53 Street
                                           New York, N.Y., 10022
                                             Tel: (212) 688-5580
                                             Fax: (212) 688-5857
 
                                     FOR: Japan Whaling Association
 
 
           JAPAN TO SEEK TREATY ADHERENCE AT UPCOMING WHALING MEETING
 
                  Japan will call upon the International Whaling Com-
          mission (IWC) to comply with its treaty obligations and im-
          plement scientific advances when the group holds its 47th
          annual meeting in Dublin during the week of May 29.
                  In a position paper distributed to IWC member na-
          tions this week, the Japanese government took the group to
          task for legal irregularities and "scientific negligence".
                  The IWC was formed to carry out the provisions of
          the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling
          (ICRW).  But, according to Japan, the IWC contravened impor-
          tant provisions in the Convention when it improperly desig-
          nated 13 million square miles of the Southern Ocean as a
          whale sanctuary last year. And in doing so, it also un-
          dermined the scientific basis of marine resource management
          developed by its own Scientific Committee.
                  The Japanese also admonished the IWC for failing to
          review the decade-old moratorium on commercial whaling.  The
          amendment establishing the moratorium contained a proviso
          requiring a review of the action by 1990 at the latest.
          Now, five years later, the IWC still has not carried out a
          review, which should result in the lifting of the moratorium
          for some abundant species.
                  Another instance of the IWC ignoring its legal obli-
          gations occurred last year.  In 1993, the IWC resolved to
          alleviate in 1994 the distress caused by the commercial
          whaling moratorium on four small traditional whaling com-
          munities in Japan.  Again, the IWC failed to do it.
                  In the area of science, which is supposed to be the
          basis of all conservation and management programs, the Japa-
          nese faulted the IWC for failing to implement a newly devel-
          oped Revised Management Procedure created by its Scientific
          Committee after seven years of work.  The failure to imple-
          ment the Procedure, which would allow catches of abundant
          whale species at levels well below annual reproduction rates
          while fully protecting depleted species, caused the 1993
          resignation of the chairman of the IWC Scientific Committee.
                  In addition, the Japanese paper pointed out that
          "new scientific findings, such as the population estimates
          of 760,000 Southern Hemisphere minke whales, have not yet
          contributed (to) any decision of the IWC."  The paper also
          criticized some members of the IWC for reacting negatively
          to research programs that provide valuable data to the
          Scientific Committee.
                  The full text of Japan's position paper follows:
 
                     Japan and the 47th IWC Annual Meeting
 
                             I. OUR BASIC POSITIONS
 
                  THE PRINCIPLE OF SUSTAINABLE USE based on the best
          available scientific evidence has no exceptions from its ap-
          plication.  Whaling is not an extraordinary activity but is
          one applicable area in the conservation and rational
          utilization of wildlife and fishery resources.
 
                  SCIENTIFIC FACTS, rather than political and emo-
          tional factors, are the basis of any conservation and man-
          agement measures of natural resources.
 
                  THE LEGAL INTEGRITY of the IWC must be maintained
          through the judicious efforts of the responsible contracting
          nations.  In the past, the IWC has adopted several decisions
          which contravene the objectives of the ICRW (the Interna-
          tional Convention for the Regulation of Whaling), notably
          its stated purpose as "a convention to provide proper con-
          servation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly
          development of the whaling industry."
 
                  DIVERSIFYING FOOD SOURCES is necessary to cope with
          impending human population growth.  Regional dietary cul-
          tures should be duly respected and maintained as an integral
          part of the cultural identity of the people concerned.
 
                II. SPECIFIC INITIATIVES AT THE IWC, DUBLIN 1995
 
                  Japan's initiatives at the next IWC meeting include
 
                  (1) CORRECTING LEGALLY QUESTIONABLE PROCEEDINGS OF
          THE IWC which are identified as follows:
 
            a. THE DECADE OLD MORATORIUM on commercial whaling,
               adopted in 1982, required review by 1990 at the latest,
               but this review was not implemented.
 
            b. THE SOUTHERN OCEAN SANCTUARY was illegally created in
               disregard of Article V.2(a), (b), and (d) of the Con-
               vention, which require various specific conditions for
               the promulgation of new IWC regulations.
 
            c. RESOLUTION ON JAPANESE COMMUNITY-BASED MINKE WHALING in
               1993, which resolved to alleviate the distress to Japa-
               nese historic coastal whaling communities in the fol-
               lowing year's IWC meeting (in 1994), was ignored.
 
          (2) CORRECTING SCIENTIFIC NEGLIGENCE OF THE IWC which are
          represented as follows:
 
            a. NEW SCIENTIFIC FINDINGS, such as the population
               estimates of 760,000 Southern Hemisphere minke whales,
               have not yet contributed to any decision of the IWC.
               Consequently, these scientific efforts have not been
               fully utilized.
 
            b. NEWLY DEVELOPED REVISED MANAGEMENT PROCEDURE for whale
               resources have yet to be implemented by the IWC, dis-
               regarding the effort of its Scientific Committee to
               finalize the scientific aspects of the procedure.
 
            c. RESEARCH PLANS of contracting governments, as
               represented by the research take of minke whales, con-
               tinuously faced negative reactions from the non-
               scientific members of the Commission despite the fact
               that these research programs have provided valuable
               data for its Scientific Committee.
 
          (3) AND CONTRIBUTING TO THE IWC through various actions, in-
          cluding to:
 
            a. PROVIDE SCIENTIFIC DATA by continuing research programs
               on cetaceans.  These include the IDCR sighting survey
               in the Antarctic, blue whale research aimed at the
               restoration of its stocks, and special permit research
               programs involving the research take of minke whales.
 
            b. FACILITATE INFORMATION EXCHANGE ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE
               in whale meat by reporting Japan's effort to control
               the trade.
 
            c. INITIATE THE DEVELOPMENT OF A FIRM RELATIONSHIP WITH
               CITES by proposing a flexible procedure for the IWC
               Scientific Committee to make scientific advice to the
               CITES.
 
            d. REPORT RECENT DEVELOPMENTS OF OTHER FORUMS related to
               fisheries and the environment (FAO and United Nations
               meetings), as Japanese officials volunteered to attend
               such international forums as observers from the IWC.
 
            e. SUPPORT THE IWC FINANCIALLY by providing the largest
               share of annual contributions among all of the con-
               tracting nations.
 
                                     -end-