« 民主党内紛 会派離脱は筋が通らぬ | トップページ | 香山リカのココロの万華鏡:カゼの功名 /東京 »

2011年2月20日 (日)

調査捕鯨中止 悪質な妨害行為は許されない

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Feb. 20, 2011)
Violent antiwhaling actions must be stopped
調査捕鯨中止 悪質な妨害行為は許されない(2月19日付・読売社説)

The Japanese government has decided to call off this season's research whaling in the Antarctic Ocean one month before its scheduled end, due to persistent attacks by the antiwhaling organization Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Sea Shepherd's obstruction of legitimate research whaling has been in full gear since 2005, but this is the first time Japan has been forced to cancel it.

As the organization's harassment threatened the lives of the Japanese crew, it was inevitable for the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry to decide to give up on continuing the whale hunt, out of concern for the crew's safety.


IWC condemns harassment

However, we must remember that Japan's research whaling, which started in 1987, is a legitimate, justifiable action based on the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.

Sea Shepherd's violent actions to disrupt the research whaling should never be allowed under any circumstances.

The International Whaling Commission has unanimously adopted a statement strongly condemning Sea Shepherd's dangerous obstruction activities.

In July, a former captain of a small high-speed boat belonging to Sea Shepherd was found guilty by the Tokyo District Court of crimes including trespassing on a whaling ship and injuring a crew member.

However, Sea Shepherd's harassment has become increasingly violent year after year, as if it is sneering at global criticism of the group.

For example, the organization ascertains the location of the research whaling fleet via satellite, and a high-speed boat approaches perilously close, almost colliding with one of the fleet's vessels. Then Sea Shepherd members throw smoke bombs and incendiary devices. They also tangle ropes in whaling vessels' screws to hinder their steering.

We are worried that Japan's early end to this season's research whaling may give antiwhaling organizations and others the impression that Japan has yielded to obstruction.

To prevent this, Japan must once again present the legitimacy of the research whaling to the international community.

Australia, which is an anchorage site for Sea Shepherd boats, is an antiwhaling nation and has been dragging its feet in monitoring the organization's activities. However, one of the boats used for obstruction recently was reportedly Australian-registered.

If that turns out to be so, Japan should demand the Australian government strictly control the boat's activities.


Continue patient dialogue

Sea Shepherd's harassment has been left almost unchecked. This is mainly because the confrontation between whaling and antiwhaling nations shows no signs of resolution. All Japan can do is patiently continue dialogue with antiwhaling countries.

In that sense, last year's IWC convention was a noteworthy turning point for the whaling issue.

The chairman submitted a compromise proposal to greatly reduce the catch quota for Japan's research whaling over 10 years and approve the resumption Japan seeks of coastal commercial whaling, albeit with a cap on it.

Although the plan was not agreed upon, the mood for possible compromise between the two sides strengthened.

Under the current research whaling plan in the Antarctic Ocean, Japan is scheduled to catch about 900 minke whales annually.

Taking into consideration the low consumption of whale meat in the country, Japan's whaling policy hereafter must be reviewed based on the IWC compromise plan.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 19, 2011)
(2011年2月19日01時16分  読売新聞)


« 民主党内紛 会派離脱は筋が通らぬ | トップページ | 香山リカのココロの万華鏡:カゼの功名 /東京 »





« 民主党内紛 会派離脱は筋が通らぬ | トップページ | 香山リカのココロの万華鏡:カゼの功名 /東京 »