June 19, 2006also...
Pro-whaling countries within the International Whaling Commission celebrated yesterday after a resolution was passed which stated that the commission's 20-year moratorium on commercial whaling is "no longer necessary" and which went on to blame whales for depleting fish stocks. 33 countries voted in favour of the resolution, with 32 voting against, and China abstaining. The vote is considered a victory for Japan, which has long argued for a return to commercial whaling, and has been 'recruiting' sympathetic nations to join the IWC in order to bolster its vote.
The vote does not directly enable a return to commercial whaling, as that would require a three quarters majority, but is significant in being the first time that a major vote at the IWC has sided with the pro-whaling nations in two decades.
June 20, 2006
New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark has accused Japan of creating a rift between Pacific Countries. She accuses Japan of influencing the voting of some member nations of the Pacific Island Forum at the International Whaling Commission by supplying vast amounts of aid to certain small pacific nations.
New Zealand provides a total of $23 million a year in aid to three of the six Pacific nations – Kiribati, the Solomons, and Tuvalu. Japan pledged approximately 45 billion yen (NZ $633 million) in aid for all Pacific nations. New Zealand's annual budget for aiding pacific nations on the other hand totals merely NZ $173 million.
Miss Clark is quoted as saying "One would hope that over time Japan might reflect on the damage this is doing to [its] relationships around the world" and that it "sprayed a lot of money around" to garner support.
The Prime Minister has ruled out any retaliation against the islands, saying it would not affect any future aid funding.