ORCA Director, Sally Hamilton, comments on Japan's withdrawal from the International Whaling Commission.
Two weeks ago, the Japanese government was universally condemned after announcing its departure from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and outlining plans to restart commercial whaling in July 2019.
In making this decision, Japan have flown in the face of overwhelming international consensus and started down a path that threatens the future of whales globally.
It is tragic to see Japan turning its back on the IWC. Though they have skirted the global moratorium for years through so-called “scientific whaling”, full-blown commercial whaling is a barbaric industry that inflicts the cruellest deaths imaginable on these gentle giants of the ocean.
In many ways, Japan are seen are a modern and forward-thinking society, but the Japanese government’s insistence on pursuing whaling does untold damage to the country’s standing on the international stage, painting them in a negative light as a result of their support of this antiquated industry.
It has been heartening to see such widespread and near-universal condemnation of this announcement, but Japan’s attempt to hide this news by releasing it over the Christmas period means it is imperative we keep this conversation in the public arena and continue to exert pressure on the Japanese government to change their mind and stop whaling.