Minister for International Trade Minister of Tourism Associate Minister of Finance Associate Minister of Immigration (Internatio

  • Simon Upton
Foreign Affairs and Trade

New Zealand's response to Japan's recommencement of experimental fishing for southern bluefin tuna is to pursue legaloptions.

Announcing this intention this evening, Mr Upton said that Japan has been left in no uncertain terms of New Zealand's concern about their actions and their failure to heed requests not to pursue unilateral action.

"As I announced last week the Government was considering legal action. Australian and New Zealand have decided now in concert to proceed with legal steps".

Options open to the two countries are currently under consideration, and the Government will not speculate on them while this process is continuing with the Australian Government. New Zealand and Australia's concerns relate to Japan's obligations under the Southern bluefin tuna and Law of the Sea agreements.

"Legal action", said Mr Upton, "is clearly a very serious step. But that is the measure of concern that New Zealand has over Japan's activities".