International Whaling Commission Sinks Japan's Plans to Kill More Whales but Japan Defies the Vote

The International Whaling Commission (IWC), meeting in South Korea this week, soundly rejected Japan's attempt to reinstate commercial whaling.  The proposal, which would have required a three quarters majority, did not even achieve a simple majority, losing 29 votes to 23 with five abstentions.  While this decision does not affect Japan's so-called scientific whaling program, it clearly shows that the world is against the killing of whales and may have been prompted, in part, by Japan's plans to kill endangered species.

However, after meetings on Day 3, the Sydney Morning Herald reported:

Japan has vowed to go ahead with plans to increase its research whaling program and extend it to two threatened species, despite condemnation by the International Whaling Commission.

Australia and other anti-whaling nations won by 30 votes to 27  a resolution condemning Japan's Antarctic "research whaling" program and asking it to withdraw the plan.

The anti-whaling camp presented a resolution to the International Whaling Commission in Ulsan, South Korea earlier today, urging Japan to cancel or revise its plan to expand its catch for "scientific" purposes.

Japan wants to increase its scientific catch of minke whales from 440 to almost 900 each year.

Despite losing, Japan plans to proceed with its program to take 935 minke whales, 50 fin whales and 50 humpbacks.

Under IWC rules, the resolution is non-binding and Japan can issue its own scientific permits.

"We will implement the JARPA" scientific whaling plan, said Akira Nakamae of Japan's fisheries ministry.

Captain Paul Watson, president of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society said, "Sea Shepherd plans to uphold international regulations protecting endangered species and the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary."  He also noted that,  "Japan intends to display a lawless disregard for international conservations laws."

Click here for a full report on the IWC meetings.