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IWC rejects Japanese proposal to resume commercial whaling

The International Whaling Commission voted down Friday at a meeting in Florianopolis, Brazil, a Japanese proposal to resume commercial whaling.

Tokyo had hoped to resume commercial whaling of relatively abundant species such as minke whales, but anti-whaling countries including Australia and New Zealand opposed the motion.

While 27 countries supported Japan’s proposal, 41 voted against it.

As a Japan proposal in 2014 to resume commercial whaling was also rejected, this time Tokyo called for easing the IWC decision-making rules. It did so in part to make the overall package appealing to anti-whaling members by making it easier to establish whale sanctuaries where whaling is banned.

(The Japanese delegation at the IWC meeting on Sept. 13)

Currently a three-fourths majority of IWC members is needed to set a catch quota or establish a sanctuary. The Japanese proposal would have lowered the hurdle to a simple majority.

While Japan halted commercial whaling in line with a moratorium adopted by the IWC in 1982, it has hunted whales since 1987 for what it calls scientific research purposes.

Japan indicated the same day it may pull out of the IWC. «We have to consider all options,» Masaaki Taniai, senior vice farm minister, told reporters, suggesting Tokyo will consider withdrawing from the whaling body.

All — Kyodo News+

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