How Does Whaling Affect Japan

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Whaling in the Antarctic Ocean has negatively impacted Australia’s relations with Japan. Japan, being surrounded by an abundance of water, has a long history of whaling originating in the seventeenth century. The modern practice of commercial whaling began during the twentieth century and whale meat has become a delicacy in Japan . The recent issue of whaling has affected Australia and Japan’s relations due to its environmental implications and proximity implications which has led to Australia’s action of filing a case to the International Court. Environmentally, whaling has caused the endangerment of certain species of whales. The main environmental concern of whaling is that it would harm the balance of the ecosystem through the extinction…show more content…
As Burke states, “for many countries this practice is happening on the other side of the world, but for Australia, this is immediately to our south” . Due to this factor that Australia is in close proximity of the area being affected, Australia has an obligation to protect what is nearest to it. There are 5 species of whale that are located around the Southern Pacific in which Australia is responsible for, “including the humpback and blue whales.” In June 2011, Japanese whalers launched a research whaling deeming the expedition necessary to prove that commercial whaling did not affect the ecosystem. The three vessels that underwent the expedition were faced by the Sea Shepherd, an anti-whaling environmental activist group who ‘hurled paint and stink bombs’ . The fleet, led by Nisshin Maru, were only able to catch a fifth of their planned quota due to the harassment of the anti-whaler activists. As a result of the aggressive attack of the June 2011 expedition, Japan continued to fear “sabotage and violence from whaling activists.” In July 2011 the Japanese requested Australia “to provide a higher level of protection for whaling vessels than we provide for anything else in the ocean.” Although the Australian government agreed to some of the issues that the Japanese whalers raised, such as the increasing violence being dealt by anti-whaling…show more content…
Firstly, in the earlier stages of the issue, the Australian government attempted to put a stop to the Japanese whaling through diplomatic means. Due to political pressure, and the unsuccessful diplomatic campaigns used to persuade the end to Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean, the Australian Government resorted to filing an international court case, Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd stating that the court case wJapan continued to deny the “accusations that it breaches both the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling and the ban on whaling in the Antarctic,” the Australian Government decided to act upon the issue. The Australian government filed a memorial against Japan’s illegal commercial whaling on 9 May 2011 to the International Court of Justice in The Hague . The argument the Australian government is trying to make, that Japanese whalers are whaling commercially, and the Japanese have claimed that they have always been whaling for scientific purposes. Japanese whalers claimed that the scientific researches being made are essential in creating a whaling limit to commercial whaling for the future. The research the Japanese hoped to obtain would assert the idea that there would be no risk in commercial whaling due to the actual large quantity of whales in the ecosystem. Burke has stated that the objective of the court case was
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