Australia seeks to trump Japanese whaling

Featured Japan Oceania - June 24th, 2013

Australia is optimistic it will trump Japan’s claim that its Antarctic whaling is “scientific” in a case with the International Court of Justice that begins this week.

Australian Attorney General Mark Dreyfus said Sunday he was hopeful Canberra would win the case in The Hague, which begins Wednesday, reports The Associated Press. “Australia’s views on whaling are well established – we strongly oppose all commercial whaling, including so-called scientific whale hunting by Japan,” Dreyfus said.

Dreyfus, who will be in The Hague to lead the case for the final stretch of the three-week hearing, says Australia expects the court to outlaw Japanese whaling “before the end of the year and certainly before the start of the next whale hunting season.”

“We want to see this practice brought to a halt once and for all,” he said. Australia initiated proceedings against Japan in 2010, alleging the “large-scale” whaling program breached Japan’s international obligations. Japan had killed more than 10,000 whales for “scientific research”.

Whale meat is considered a traditional delicacy in Japan.

Relations between Australia and its key trading partner, Japan, remain favorable despite their disagreement over whaling, Dreyfus said.