TOKYO: Japanese lawmakers yesterday demanded the government redesign its “research” whaling programme to circumvent an international court ruling that described the programme as a commercial hunt dressed up as science.
The 40-strong fisheries committee, made up of a cross-section of members of the lower house, unanimously passed a resolution urging the administration study “all sorts of options, including walking out of the (international whaling) convention.”
It said the ruling earlier this month by the International Court of Justice was “truly regrettable” but “does not necessarily prevent Japan’s whaling, which is a unique tradition and culture.”
The panel demanded the government find a way to continue the research operation “so as to play a responsible role as the only country in the world with a scientific approach.”
The parliamentarians also demanded the government swiftly draw up a plan to replace the banned Antarctic whaling operation and fully prepare for a new programme while circulating “whale meat -- a by-product of research whaling -- appropriately as before.”
Environmentalists have maintained the science is a figleaf.