Wikileaks reveals whaling deal between USA und Japan

It is the same procedure every year: 87 nations meet at the IWC-conference and in the end, one is relieved that Japan does not get a majority for its obscene proposals to extend whale hunting. Which country is bribed by the Japanese next year, when do they have a majority? And then, Wikileaks publishes American documents which contain information about how the Obama administration tries to persuade Japan to change its attitude towards whaling. These documents contain information on how the US-IWC-delegate and high-ranking politician Monica Medina travels to Tokyo in November 2009, to campaign for the whales. According to the documents, Ms. Medina proposed to the Japanese foreign minister Fukuyama to enable the IWC to be active again after many years of paralysing quarrels. The committee should be able again to protect the whales and manage the whale population. Medina suggested, Japan could give up whaling in the Antarctic and instead hunt whales off its own coast. Especially the hunt for finback- and humpback whales should be stopped.

According to the Wikileaks documents, Tokyo took a liking to such deal. If Washington would be prepared to revoke the tax exempt status of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Japan would be prepared to talk about fin- and humpbacks. Ms. Medina stated, that the US would be prepared to set high priority with respect to ‘safety at sea’, but in fact meant to eliminate Sea Shepherd as their activists repeatedly harassed Japanese whaling vessels in the Antarctic.

How far these negotiations progressed is unknown. The Wikileaks documents end at the beginning of last year. However, the summary of the discussions is relatively optimistic: ‘A deal about reducing the quota was reached, the US even beliefs an interim major solution might be possible in the near future’.

At least the Obama administration shows, that they consider whaling to be a serious issue. Apart from that, Japan admitted that the Japanese whale meat market is oversaturated and they do not really know what to do with their catch anyway.
Walter Karpf (transl. Resy de Ruijsscher)