PM threatens court action on whaling

Matthew Franklin & Peter Alford; 15/12/09

Kevin Rudd has renewed his threat to take Japan to the international courts to stop its annual whale hunt, despite having failed to deliver on identical threats for more than two years. The Prime Minister’s outburst has sparked derision, with Tony Abbott accusing him of trashing Australia’s reputation with hollow threats and a Japanese anti-whaling activist warning of a potential anti-Australian backlash in Japan. Mr Rudd’s threat came yesterday as he prepared for a meeting with Japan’s recently elected Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama, in Tokyo today. Each summer a Japanese whaling fleet kills hundreds of whales in the Southern Ocean. The Japanese claim the hunt is part of a scientific research program but take the whales back to Japan for sale in restaurants. Since taking power in 2007, Mr Rudd has vowed to take action to end the hunt and last year sent an Australian Customs vessel to collect photographic evidence for a possible challenge in the international courts.

See:; Diplomacy will stop Japanese whaling – Stephen Smith; Aleisha Preedy; 14/12/09;