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    » 07/05/2012, 00.00

    SOUTH KOREA - JAPAN

    Seoul, after Japan, resumes whaling. Wrath of environmentalists



    South Korea uses the "pretext" of "scientific research" without asking "permission" to third party countries. Under pressure from Tokyo, the proposal to create a "sanctuary" for cetaceans in the southern Atlantic fails. Environmentalists denounce the killing of two million specimens in the last century and warns the species is endangered.

    Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Taking advantage of a technicality, South Korea has expressed its intention to resume whaling, the same tactic used by neighboring Japan, which allows them to circumvent the global moratorium on grounds of "research scientific ". The decision has sparked the ire of nations and is opposed by environmentalists, who have had to acknowledge a setback in recent days when Tokyo - leveraging the support of allies - buried a proposal to create a "sanctuary" for the whales in South Atlantic Ocean. The South Korean government has stated that it will release "later" the number of whales it plans to kill and where, but insists that "we will not need the approval of foreign nations."

    South Korean envoy to the annual meeting of the International Commission on Whaling recalled that the country is a "traditional consumer" of whale meat since "time immemorial". Kang Joon-suk also said that the people have lived the ban on whaling with "pain and frustration", because "traditionally they are used to feeding" on whales. Whaling is concentrated especially around the coastal city of Ulsan, where it is easy to find whale meat on menus from specimens that were "accidentally" caught in fishing nets.

    The South Korean delegate also said that Seoul will whale only within the territorial waters, in contrast to Tokyo, which has attracted the barbs of Australia and New Zealand massacring hundreds of specimens each year under the pretext of an alleged "scientific research" in the Atlantic. The New Zealand Commissioner Gerard van Bohemen has accused South Korea of ​​threatening marine populations, adding that so far the Japanese government "has not made any contribution to science" during oceanic expeditions to hunt whales.



    Japan, which together with Norway and Iceland, allows whaling for commercial purposes, wants to perpetuate the predation of cetaceans, beloved on the tables of the Land of the Rising Sun. Tokyo has managed to torpedo the proposal to create a protected area in the south Atlantic Ocean, with a vote  of 38 countries in favor and 21 against, two nations abstained. The regulation provides, however, that proposals must gain a quorum of two thirds. The vote was held on July 2, during the annual meeting - in Panama - of the International Commission on Whaling. According to data presented by environmental groups, more than two million whales were killed in the last century and the species are threatened with extinction.

     

     

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    See also

    07/07/2010 JAPAN
    Tokyo court issues two year suspended sentence to anti - whaling activist
    New Zealand activist of the "Sea Shepherds", Peter Bethune, was arrested in February for assaulting a Japanese whaling ship and will soon return home thanks to conditional release. Protests of whaling supporters. They maintain the activist deserves the death penalty.

    27/05/2010 JAPAN
    Activist against whaling risks 15 years in prison
    Peter Bethune attacked a Japanese ship in Antarctic and wounded a sailor. Japan continues to hunt about 900 whales a year for "study" purposes. The meat is then sold to restaurants and school canteens. The International Commission on Whaling proposes a middle ground between environmentalists and traders.

    16/02/2011 JAPAN
    Japan suspends whaling in the Antarctic
    Tokyo has taken the decision because of interference by ships from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which have been disrupting the movements of whaling ships. Japan is one of three countries that still hunts for whales despite an international moratorium imposed in 1986.

    22/06/2010 JAPAN
    World split in Agadir over whaling
    The standoff continues at the International Whaling Commission in Agadir as accusations are made against Japan and other pro-whaling nations. However, a consensus appears to in the making, as more IWC members tend towards a compromise that would maintain the moratorium, whilst allowing limited commercial whaling.

    01/04/2014 JAPAN - UNITED NATIONS
    Tokyo to comply with UN anti-whaling ruling
    The Japanese government said it would accept the ICJ ruling in The Hague, noting however that whale meat is a major source of food in Japan.



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