NZ leads diplomatic protest over Japanese whaling

  • John Key
Foreign Affairs

New Zealand has led a joint diplomatic protest over Japan’s decision to resume whaling in the Southern Ocean, Prime Minister and Acting Foreign Minister John Key says.

“New Zealand and other concerned countries today sent a strong message to the Japanese Government over its resumption of whaling in the Southern Ocean, delivering a formal message in Tokyo expressing their opposition.

"A total of 33 countries, including the US, Australia, Mexico, South Africa and the EU member countries, were represented at today’s demarche, expressing concern over Japan’s actions.”

On 27 November 2015, the Japanese Government announced that it would resume its Southern Ocean whaling programme, with the whaling fleet departing on 1 December.

Today’s protest was led by New Zealand’s Ambassador to Japan, Mark Sinclair.

“We have urged Japan, as a member of the International Whaling Commission, to respect the Commission’s procedures and the advice of its scientific bodies,” Mr Key says.

“We consider that there is no scientific basis for the slaughter of whales and strongly urge the Government of Japan not to allow it to go ahead.

“New Zealand has repeatedly expressed its opposition to Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean. We will continue to work to see this outdated practice brought to an end.”