Australia threatens Japan over whaling program

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Smashy, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. Smashy

    Smashy

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    Feb 19, 2010 (5:22a CST)
    By KRISTEN GELINEAU (Associated Press Writer)

    SYDNEY - Australia's prime minister on Friday set a November deadline for Japan to stop its research whaling program that kills hundreds of whales a year in Antarctic waters, or else face international legal action.

    Australia, a staunch anti-whaling nation, has long threatened international legal action. Two years ago, it sent a ship to Antarctic waters to follow the Japanese whaling fleet and collect videos and photographs it said might be used as evidence in an international forum.

    Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Australia would prefer to use diplomatic means to persuade Japan to end its hunt.

    "If that fails, then we will initiate court action before the commencement of the whaling season in November 2010," he told the Seven Network. "That's the bottom line and we're very clear to the Japanese, that's what we intend to do."

    Japan hunts hundreds of mostly minke whales - which are not an endangered species - in Antarctic waters each year under its whaling research program, an allowed exception to the International Whaling Commission's 1986 ban on commercial whaling. Whale meat not used for study is sold for consumption in Japan, which critics say is the real reason for the hunts.

    Rudd's threat came on the eve of a visit to Australia by Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada. Whaling is expected to be a key topic of conversation when Okada meets with Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith this weekend. Japanese officials did not immediately have any comment ahead of the visit.

    Australia has said it could argue that Japan's whaling is illegal before the International Court of Justice at The Hague or the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg, Germany.

    The whaling is conducted in international waters, but usually within the huge patch of ocean that is designated Australia's maritime rescue zone and that Canberra considers a whale sanctuary.

    Don Rothwell, a professor of international law at the Australian National University, was commissioned by the International Fund for Animal Welfare in 2005 to explore Australia's legal options in its fight to end whaling. His report was later presented to both the Australian and New Zealand governments.

    Rothwell said Australia could request the courts grant an immediate injunction requiring Japan to stop whaling. Either court would almost certainly grant the injunction, which would remain in place until the case was resolved, he said.

    On Wednesday, a group of conservationists clashed with Japanese whalers in the Antarctic Ocean, the most recent in a string of increasingly aggressive confrontations between U.S.-based activist group Sea Shepherd and the whaling fleet.

    Sea Shepherd activists threw bottles of butyric acid at Japanese whalers and blasted their ship with paint, while the Japanese returned fire with water cannons. No one was injured, but Japan condemned the conservationists' actions as dangerous and violent. Sea Shepherd officials said they are simply doing what is necessary to protect whales.

    Earlier this month, Japan claimed three crew members on one of its whaling vessels suffered face and eye injuries from an acid attack.

    On Monday, Sea Shepherd activist Peter Bethune jumped aboard the Shonan Maru 2 from a Jet Ski with the stated goal of making a citizen's arrest of the ship's captain and presenting him with a $3 million bill for the destruction of the Ady Gil.

    He was taken into custody by the whalers and will face charges in Japan of trespassing and assault.

    New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully said officials had spoken with Bethune by telephone on Thursday and were assured he was being treated properly. Bethune indicated he was happy to remain on board the Shonan Maru II and return to Japan with the vessel, McCully said.

    On Feb. 6, Sea Shepherd's ship the Bob Barker and a Japanese harpoon boat collided, causing minor damage to both vessels. And in January, a Japanese whaler struck Sea Shepherd's high-tech speedboat Ady Gil, which sank a day later. No one was seriously injured in those incidents.


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  2. eXistenZ

    eXistenZ Play it.

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    How does one country take another to court?
    If they side with Australia why wouldn't Japan just give them the finger?
    What possible action could the take against Japan?
     

  3. MtBaldy

    MtBaldy Obie Wan, RIP

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    None. It's empty rhetoric probably politically motivated. Japan is Austalia's largest trading partner. Pissing them off too much could destroy Austalia's economy.
     
  4. Ragnar

    Ragnar

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    Empty threat. Japan is well withing their rights under the whaling treaty and they are in international waters.

    Australia is hoping Japan won't risk the bad press, but they have little chance of winning in court.
     
  5. stevelyn

    stevelyn NRA Life Member

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    Doesn't Australia have more important things to worry about?

    If I were Japan, I'd tell them to piss of and die.
     
  6. badge315

    badge315

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    I can understand condemning that activities of Sea Shepherd as that of a bunch of overzealous kooks, but you guys still have a problem when a nation state actually tries to handle a dispute properly through the appropriate courts?:dunno:

    For a culture that is supposedly all zen-like and in harmony with nature, the Japanese have been pretty crappy stewards of the ocean's natural resources.
     
  7. G36's Rule

    G36's Rule Senior Member

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    No, I think everyone who has posted so far except for you has said that Australia doesn't have a leg to stand on.
     
  8. RonS

    RonS Millennium Member

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    Everybody is all worried about North Korea and Iran, wouldn't it be funny if WWIII started between Japan and Australia over a bunch of whales? A hundred years from now people all over the world are eating cats and lighting their homes with whale oil because civilization collapsed during a war triggered by a bunch of eco freaks and whalers.

    I think the Japanese should raise the Mushashi, refurb it and mount a harpoon gun on the bow.
     
  9. JBJ16

    JBJ16

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    A case of a "righteous" country telling another sovereign country what it can or cannot do?

    Several "righteous, morally upright" countries come to mind. For "world peace", "environment", "anti-terror" and other BS . . . . . . .
     
  10. G36's Rule

    G36's Rule Senior Member

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    Always has to be someone to blame it on Bush...
     
  11. JBJ16

    JBJ16

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    whatever . . .
     
  12. Ersatz

    Ersatz

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    Actually it was a subtle jab attempting to get other posters to consider parallels between the actions of entire nations.
     
  13. JBJ16

    JBJ16

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    It is actually a jab at "what my country is doing in the same light" . . . . .minding another sovereign country's business, telling then what it could or could not do or else . . .kind of thinking. . . . . Looks/sounds familiar?
     
  14. G36's Rule

    G36's Rule Senior Member

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    No, it was typical USA bashing from the other side of the Atlantic. Notice the slap on anti-terror?

    Yeah, because whaling is definitely on the same scale as terrorist attacks...
     
  15. JBJ16

    JBJ16

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    Bashing? The USA? . . . . . . .Well if you want to put it that way, what should a

    world cop expect? :tongueout: If you want to be world cop grow a thicker skin.

    I'm out before I get banned. :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
     
  16. MtBaldy

    MtBaldy Obie Wan, RIP

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    Just out of curiosity, how many years was it your pissant little country remained an independent pissant little country because the Soviet Union was afraid to challenge the US directly? Or do you really think they would have left you alone without a NATO that included the US?
     
  17. arclight610

    arclight610

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    There is only one way to settle this... airsoft, pokemon, and transformer battles
     
  18. nmk

    nmk

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    ok then... :faint:
     
  19. Glock20 10mm

    Glock20 10mm Use Linux!

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    Hmmmm, that's how I saw it.:dunno:
     
  20. Ragnar

    Ragnar

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    They're taking whales that aren't endangered. They're actually managing the herd very well. Just like here in the states where we hunt whitetail deer.