A Request an End to Research Whaling and the Inappropriate Use of Tax Money

Letter of Request

September 26, 2012

A Request an End to Research Whaling and the Inappropriate Use of Tax Money

Iruka &Kujira (Dolphin & Whale) Action Network
Greenpeace Japan
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Akira Gunji
Director General of Fisheries Agency Kazuyoshi Honkawa

The earthquake and tsunami last March destroyed many local communities and have left a deep scar on the region. Despite various support extended from inside and outside Japan to rebuild the affected areas, their recovery is still far from completion. During such a difficult time, we learned and pointed out that 2.3 billion yen of the recovery fund, money supposed to be allocated to the recovery of disaster-hit areas, was going into research whaling in the Antarctic Ocean - far from North East Japan. We sent a protest letter requesting the money be spent appropriately. Unfortunately, the government of Japan is still conducting research whaling with 2.3 billion yen of our taxpayers’ money, with the definite use yet to be clarified.

Recent media has revealed that the misappropriation of recovery funds is not limited to only research whaling. Japanese citizens cannot in any way accept such an abuse of tax money.

In addition, it was reported this morning that the Fisheries Agency is considering applying the “Profitable Fisheries Support Project,” a government fund that gives subsidies to fisheries businesses wishing to increase profit by streamlining their business, to research whaling. This subsidy should be spent on the disaster-affected areas, still struggling to recover, to help the local fisheries make their businesses self-sustaining. It must not be wasted on a business that only serves the interest of a few people and has no promising future.

Misappropriating the recovery budget last year and misappropriating the fisheries support fund currently under consideration are clearly an abuse of our public funding by the government and cannot be ignored.


Until now the Japanese government had claimed both nationally and internationally that “Japan’s research whaling is not commercial whaling.” If the government is to give the grant to research whaling as a “profitable fisheries business,” together with last year’s use of recovery fund, strong criticisms from within and outside of Japan are expected, for diverting tax money on something inconsistent with the original objectives.

It should also be mentioned that the scientific committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) concluded that the Japanese research whaling is not meeting the original research objectives at the JARPA I review committee.

For these reasons, we request the following three points.

Request 1: Stop research whaling, which is unnecessary and an industry-interest driven business

Request 2: Do not apply the grant from “Profitable Fisheries” to research whaling as it is a blatant misappropriation of government subsidy, and the whaling operation has no future prospects. The subsidy should instead go towards rebuilding the coastal and offshore fisheries that are much in need of financial support.

Request 3: Publically disclose the details and their use of 2,284,000,000 yen from the disaster recovery fund, spent on research whaling in the last fiscal year.