Legal threat on whaling stepped up as ministers fail to find common ground

Paige Taylor; 22/2/10

Australia will seek an end to whaling in the Southern Ocean through the International Whaling Commission as early as today after talks between Foreign Minister Stephen Smith and his Japanese counterpart yesterday. Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada described his country’s relationship with Australia as “extremely good”, but said the legal threat by Canberra was “extremely unfortunate”. “The position of Australia and Japan on the whaling issue is different but we are in agreement we should continue with objective and constructive discussions with a view to a diplomatic solution in the IWC and between the two nations,” Mr Okada said at a press conference with Mr Smith after their meeting in Perth. “We agree the whaling issue should not jeopardise the Australia-Japan relationship, which overall is an extremely good one.”

See:; Whales not the main game; Editorial; 22/2/10;