Agadir, – As the 62nd annual International Whaling Commission meeting comes to a close, Greenpeace Japan Programme Director Junichi Sato issued the following statement.
“It is shameful that this meeting failed after only two days of trying.
The members of the International Whaling Commission have missed an important opportunity to take steps towards ending commercial whaling.
The sum total of what has been achieved with the decision to “reflect” for another year, is that under the status quo the blood of 1,500 more whales will be needlessly spilled by Japan, Iceland and Norway.
“Japan has not negotiated in good faith with IWC members, nor is it serving the interests of its own people by continuing to waste tax-payers money on a morally, financially and scientifically bankrupt whaling programme in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
“Along with my colleague Toru Suzuki, I am facing 18 months in prison for exposing a major embezzlement scandal in my country’s whaling operations; whistleblowers from within the industry have risked their lives to make public corruption within the programme and Greenpeace has worked for 30 years to defend the whales. It is outrageous that in the face of all the evidence, these politicians have failed to take the necessary political action to end the farce of commercial whaling.
“Having failed to broker an agreement in Agadir, the IWC must now commit to finally investigate all the allegations of vote-buying and the corruption in the Japanese whaling industry. All IWC members must also commit themselves to a future of whale conservation and an end to commercial whaling.
"I also urge the people of Japan to raise serious questions about how our government is wasting taxpayers’ money and bringing shame on our country. As hosts of this year’s Convention of Biological Diversity, and half way through the International Year of Biodiversity, our government has already sold out the endangered bluefin tuna and now has failed to even defend endangered whale species.
"I am returning to Japan to discover my fate along with that of Toru Suzuki in the courts. I have hope that the judges will acknowledge and defend our rights to take the necessary action to expose embezzlement in the government-funded whaling programme. But for the thousands of great whales that will die in the coming years because of the failure of this meeting, there is now no hope of reprieve.”
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