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UK urges Japan to stop killing whales

Whale hunting © Greenpeace / J. S. HibbertThe UK has made formal diplomatic representation to the Japanese Government urging it to stop its lethal whaling programme in the Antarctic.

A written statement, or demarche, was delivered to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Japan’s Fisheries Agency by the Australian Ambassador on behalf of Australia, UK, 28 other countries and the EU. It calls on Japan to "cease all its lethal scientific research on whales, and assure the immediate return of the vessels which are implementing JARPA II”.

Fisheries Minister, Jonathan Shaw, will also meet Japanese embassy officials to express the UK’s outrage over Japan’s mission to kill endangered whales.

“Britain is against all forms of whaling except very limited subsistence whaling by indigenous people. Japan’s so-called ‘scientific’ whaling is unacceptably cruel scientifically unnecessary and of no economic value,” he said.

"The Japanese government must know that we will continue to oppose all attempts by Japan to undermine the worldwide ban on commercial whaling.”

Japan’s fleet is in the Southern Ocean where it aims to kill 50 fin and 935 minke whales.

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Page published: 27 December 2007

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs