Greenpeace Condemns Japanese Government's Whaling Subsidy Increase

Press release - 27 October, 2011
Tokyo, 27 October 2011 – Greenpeace joined a coalition of Japanese NGOs (1) today in condemning the Japanese government's latest attempt to prop up its so-called "scientific" whaling programme, demanding the ¥2.28 billion (US$30 million) subsidy boost allocated for whaling be redirected to recovery efforts following the March 11 Fukushima earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.

"It is absolutely disgraceful for the Japanese government to pump yet more taxpayer money on an unneeded, unwanted and economically unviable whaling programme, when funds are desperately needed for Fukushima recovery efforts," said Junichi Sato, Greenpeace Japan Executive Director.

The new financial input comes on top of the US$10 million the whaling operation already receives in government subsidies, but with ¥1.9 billion (US$24 million) in mounting debt, these new funds are likely to be used to pay off the whaling industry’s creditors.

"The whaling programme is a black mark on Japan’s international reputation, and a black hole for taxpayer money. Pouring billions of yen into Antarctic whaling during this time of crisis is downright shameful," added Sato.

"Japan cannot afford to waste money on whaling in the Antarctic when its people are suffering at home. The Democratic Party of Japan must prove its commitment to protecting the people of Japan and not narrow business and political interests, by redirecting this money to where it is actually needed."

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment, and to promote peace and is opposed to all commercial whaling in all of the world’s oceans.

Contacts:
Greg McNevin, Greenpeace International Communications, , +81 80 5416 6507
Kaoru Narisawa, Greenpeace Japan Communications, , +81 80 6558 4446
Greenpeace International Press Desk Hotline, Amsterdam +31 20 7182470

Notes:
1) Coalition statement from Greenpeace, the Iruka & Kujira (dolphin and whale) Action Network (IKAN), Choice for Tomorrow (CFT), International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and ten others: http://www.greenpeace.org/japan/Global/japan/pdf/NGO_costatement_en.pdf

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