“The Japanese government (is) making noises that have an ominous feel about them. Japan’s decision is increasingly out of step with international opinion. It is also entirely disrespectful of the strong concerns expressed by Australian and New Zealand people for whom the Southern Ocean is our neighbourhood,” New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said. “We have been in regular contact with the Japanese government on this issue. We have urged them not to return to the Southern Ocean this year. The whaling program serves no useful purpose and deserves to be consigned to history.” He also said “The New Zealand government has consistently urged all parties to act responsibly during the whaling season, and to avoid actions that may put their lives, or the lives of others, at risk or which may harm the Antarctic environment,”
“There is no justification for continued whaling,” Australian Environment Minister Tony Burke said. “Australia unequivocally condemns commercial whaling. We don’t accept this is scientific. It should not go ahead.”
Even though commercial whaling has been banned since 1986, Japan is allowed limited kills for research purposes. Last year alone, Japanese killed 171 minke whales and two fin whales.
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