Australia, NZ groups criticize Japan's plans to withdraw from IWC

Japan to withdraw from Intl. Whaling Commission

Japan to withdraw from Intl. Whaling Commission

But this has been criticized internationally as a cover for commercial purposes.

"So we're very concerned about Japan abandoning multilateralism and rules-based order, and we're concerned about the precedent it might set and if it encourages other countries to do the same".

Japan faced criticism earlier this year after reporting that its whaling fleet had killed 122 pregnant whales during its annual research hunt in the Southern Ocean last winter.

Japan can not continue its research whaling in the Antarctic Ocean if it pulls out of the IWC.

"All the polls show the Australian people want to see action on this", he said.

Government officials will inform executives of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and junior coalition partner Komeito of the decision, they said. Scientific results were never presented, as far as we know.

However, Slooten said the withdrawal of staunchly pro-whaling nations could conversely allow the IWC to become a more progressive organization, focused on the conservation of other cetaceans such as dolphins and porpoises. Japan's commercial whaling proposals have always been stopped by anti-whaling countries, including Australia and New Zealand, Kyodo News reported. Hunting for whales in Arctic waters is excluded, it sounds.

Japan halted commercial whaling in 1982 in line with a moratorium adopted by the IWC.

Japan protests against Russian military installations on Kuril Islands
However, since this agreement was first signed, Japan has periodically been granted more freedom over its own national defense. Local media have said the purchases could total more than one trillion yen ($8.8 billion).

Yet whaling and anti-whaling countries have clashed over the matter.

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Greenpeace Australia Pacific condemns the decision by the Japanese Government to withdraw from IWC to resume commercial whaling.

Japan has long maintained that most whale species are not endangered and that eating whale is a cherished part of its food culture.

Japan has previously threatened to quit the IWC, arguing that the moratorium was supposed to be a temporary measure and accusing the IWC of abandoning its original goal - managing the sustainable use of global whale stocks. After a year's pause, Japan began what it said was a scaled-back whaling program.

Japan would join Iceland and Norway in openly defying the ban on commercial whale hunting.

Rothwell, who is one of Australia's leading global law experts, said the significance of a Japanese departure from the IWC can not be underplayed, given Japan's previous strong commitment to multilateral institutions and worldwide law.

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