Tokyo, Japan – Greenpeace condemns the Japanese Government’s decision to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to resume commercial whaling – a decision likely to be announced next week according to Japanese media reports.

Sam Annesley, Executive Director at Greenpeace Japan said:

“This is a grave mistake which is out of step with the rest of the world. Greenpeace urges the government of Japan to reconsider its decision.

“This snub to multilateralism is unacceptable and deeply concerning but let us not forget that the Japanese fleet has continued its operations in violation of the findings of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in past years.

“The Japanese Government has a history of failing to work with the IWC on conservation initiatives designed to protect and recover whale species, many of which are yet to return to healthy population numbers since widespread commercial whaling was ended over 30 years ago.

“In the past countries like the Netherlands have left the IWC and later returned. Ultimately, the protection of the world’s oceans and marine life needs global cooperation. We hope that Japan and will reverse its decision and take its place beside the nations trying to undo the damage human activities have done to whale populations.”

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Contacts:

Akiko Tsuchiya, Communications Officer at Greenpeace Japan, akiko.tsuchiya@greenpeace.org, phone: +81 3 5338 9800

Greenpeace International Press Desk, pressdesk.int@greenpeace.org, +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hour)