Will Japan's vote-buying strategy pay off?

Posted on julio, 19 2004

WWF is extremely concerned that this year, Japan may finally achieve its goal to control the majority of votes in the International Whaling Commission, whose 56th Annual Meeting starts today.
Sorrento, Italy - WWF is extremely concerned that tomorrow's votes at the 56th Annual Meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), which starts today in Sorrento, Italy, will undermine the organization’s credibility at a key moment in the history of whale and dolphin conservation.

It appears that Japan may finally achieve its goal — to control the majority of votes in the IWC. This could lead to a resumption of large-scale commercial whaling and set back cetacean conservation by decades. WWF deplores Japan’s blatant misuse of development aid to manipulate countries votes.
"Tomorrow the world will know if once again the IWC will be little more than a whalers' club," said Dr Susan Lieberman, head of the WWF delegation at the meeting. "Our fear is that at a time when we know more than ever about the threats to whales from not only whaling but also bycatch, toxics, and climate change, the IWC appears to be heading in a the wrong direction." 
For years WWF and other concerned parties have been drawing the world’s attention to Japan’s vote buying tactics. WWF urges the global community to step forward and not leave the future of the world’s cetaceans to a pro-whaling lobby led by Japan.
For further information
Claire Doole
Head of Press, WWF International
E-mail: cdoole@wwfint.org
Joanna Benn
Communications Manager, WWF Species Programme
E-mail: jbenn@wwfint.org
Humpback whales gather in Tonga each winter to give birth and mate before returning to Antarctic feeding areas.
© WWF / Cat Holloway