~ Anti-whaling voice from Japan ~


Petition to request four countries to present a case to the ICJ for a ruling on Japanese whaling (JARPN II) which is in breach of CITES, ICRW, and the IWC resolution

May 15, 2014

  Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Japan
  Embassy of the Republic of China in Japan
  Embassy of the Russian Federation in Japan
  Embassy of the United States in Tokyo, Japan

copy to:
  Australian Embassy in Tokyo, Japan
  New Zealand Embassy in Tokyo, Japan
  Delegation of the European Union to Japan
  The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan

*: CITES: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
ICJ: International Court of Justice
ICRW: International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling
IWC: International Whaling Commission
JARPA: Japanese Whale Research Program under Special Permit in the Antarctic
JARPN: Japanese Whale Research Program under Special Permit in the North Pacific

On March 31st of this year, in a case brought by Australia and New Zealand concerning Japan's research whaling, the ICJ ruled JARPA II as being in violation of the IWC resolution and ordered Japan to revoke any existing permissions and to refrain from granting any new permissions in the future.

The Japanese government agreed to abide by the decision. However, Japan decided to continue its research whaling program JARPN II in offshore and coastal waters. It is obvious that JARPN II has the same possibility of illegality as does JARPA II.

The Japanese government has announced a commitment to comply with international law, but Members of the National Diet condemned the ruling as political and disagree with the decision saying, "judgment of the ICJ is political" and show no remorse for ignoring and not respecting international law.

The Japanese media have not touched at all on the statement by the Director-General of the Fisheries Agency which became the decisive factor of the decision, and has repeatedly reported whaling is Japanese culture which replaces the problem with culture issue to switch the focus of argument.

It is intolerable for us, the Japanese people, that the Japanese government does not admit her own fault and is trying to continue intentions to disobey international law. Regrettably, there is no alternative but to pursue a settlement of this issue by the countries of the Northern Hemisphere just like Australia and New Zealand did.

The Republic of Korea, People's Republic of China, the Russian Federation, and the United States are IWC member countries which are close to the Northwest Pacific Ocean, and are not influenced by Japanese fisheries ODA for the purpose of buying votes of the IWC. So those countries are entitled to sue the illegal utilization of high seas resources which have being done in the name of science.

Previously, the Republic of Korea announced plans for scientific whaling based on Article 8 of ICRW at the IWC annual meeting two years ago, but has withdrawn it in response to criticism of citizens at home and abroad.

In contrast, Japan refuses to obey the terms of international law and admits its intentions to continue illegal whaling. So this must not be allowed from the point of view of fairness and impartiality of the international community.

Therefore, we urge four countries to sue jointly Japan's JARPN II to the ICJ.


On behalf of : (in alphabetical order)
Chiro & Sakura Holistic Clinic
Flipper's Japan
Japan Animal Rights Union
Japan Animal Rights Party
Help Animals
With All Animals

- Supplementation about illegality of JARPN II (*provisional translation)

  On April 15, Japanese Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Hayashi stated implementation policy of research whaling for the future.
  According to this statement, Japan will carry out JARPN II of this year with reducing referred to ICJ's judge. Revised catch limits of whales is that: 100 of minke whale at coast (120 in the initial plans), 0 of minke whale at offshore (100 in the initial plans), 20 of bryde's whale (50 in the initial plans), 90 of sei whale (100 in the initial plans), 0 of sperm whale (10 in the initial plans).
  These catch quotas were presented only in half a month after ICJ's judge. In addition, there are the following descriptions in a footnote of the statement: "Catch limits will be decided after hearing from scientists and examining in future". The judges of the ICJ decided that "Japan shall revoke any extant authorization, permit or license granted in relation to JARPA II, and refrain from granting any further permits in pursuance of that programme". But, It is obvious that Japan presented foregone conclusion and those numbers before fundamental revision of research plan and any verification of non-lethal alternative.
  There was strong political pressure by members of the National Diet, who adopted resolutions to continue research whaling in both houses of the Diet, in those circumstances.
  And also, catch quotas of JARPN II has been attained as planned same as JARPA II. Even though there is no disturbance by anti-whaling organizations such as SSCS. The total of catch limit is reduced from 260 to 110, but the result of capture last year was 132. In short, newly presented catch quotas are within the limits of production adjustment of whale meat. Bryde's whale is a species which meat was unpopular and remained unsold in a bidding. The number of capturing minke whale aborted at offshore was only 3 last years. (Reference: IKANet News #57)
  These facts show that there is also large divergence in JARPN II between purpose, plan, and execution same as JARPA II.
  According to the article of one newspaper for fisheries industry, the Fisheries Agency explain about the capturing of sei whale and bryde's whale as that; "We were recommended to utilize calculating of the RMP (Revised Management Procedure) by the ICJ's judge". There is no such fact. IWC Scientific Committee recognizes that JARPA is not essential but only potential as Australia said, and ICJ suspended judgment about this. On the other hand, It is described about the purpose of cancel of capturing minke whale at offshore in the article that; "to examine stock structure". But the reason was before used in explanation of necessity of JARPA II. The degree of interweaving and boundaries of two stock of Antarctic minke whale have been discussed in the Scientific Committee for 30 years during JARPA I/II, but no conclusion has been reached and prospects are still unclear. Scientists of the Scientific Committee has pointed out that it is necessary to research in breading sea at a low latitude.
  Furthermore, Japan take reservation about sei whale which is specified endangered species in the IUCN Red List, but Japan exclude the stock in the North Pacific from reservation. Peter Sand, the first CITES Secretary-General has pointed out that Japan's bringing of sei whale from the high sea is suspected to violate the regulation of the CITES. Japan said that the illegality should be judged by the official position of bringing countries as ICRW 8. But it should be respected ICJ's judgment whether JARPN II correspond of the regulation of the CITES or not as JARPA II correspond violation of ICRW 8 or not. And, it is quite possible because JARPA II has recognized as violation of ICRW by the ICJ and same illegality is included in JARPN II as JARPA II.
  The ICJ concluded that JARPA II are not "for purposes of scientific research" pursuant to ICRW 8, and alleged violations of the schedule paragraph 7(b), para. 10(d), and para. 10(e). All of these violation except para. 7 which establishes the Southern Ocean Sanctuary applicable to JARPN II, too. On the other hand, para. 30 of the Schedule was not applied JARPA II which Australia claimed. But, JARPN II at coast this year has still started on April 26 without sufficient explanations about revised plan to the IWC. This is highly likely violation of the schedule para. 30.
  Therefore four member countries of the IWC should strongly required Japan to stop JARPN II, and they should present a case to the ICJ when Japan ignore their requirement.



-the Diet Record of October 23, 2012 (Japanese text only)

-the statement of Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on April 8 (Japanese text only)

-explanatory notes of the case concerning Whaling in the Antarctic (Japanese text only)
-IKANet NEWS #57

-Jarpa Review | Extract from the full Report of the JARPA review workshop 2007

-Japan's 'Research Whaling' in the Antarctic Southern Ocean and the North Pacific Ocean in the Face of the Endangered Species Convention (CITES)

-the article of newspaper for fisheries industry (Japanese text only)

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