- Created on Thursday, 27 October 2011 14:05
Don't waste 2.28 billion yen on whaling in the Southern Ocean - Use the money for Tohoku regeneration and disaster victim support!
On October 21st, the Japanese government obtained Cabinet approval on the third supplementary budget. This budget is primarily for the reconstruction of the affected people and areas of 3.11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant disaster. However, within it is a subsidy allocated for the continuance of research whaling, amounting to 2.3 billion yen (*1). Consolidating against this, fourteen domestic NGOs announced a joint statement today,requesting the government to allocate the whaling subsidy to the victims of the 3.11 disaster (*2).
There is much international criticism against Japanese research whaling for its lack of scientific basis and global consensus, and for conducting whaling in an area designated a sanctuary by an international agreement. A July interim report by the review committee on research whaling included possible option of ceasing or decreasing the size of research whaling. Research whaling so far has been receiving an annual subsidy (500 million yen plus additional 200 million for anti-whaling activity countermeasures). What this means is in the Southern Ocean operation alone, public funds have been covering the costs of a private institution: The Institute of Cetacean Research.
Executive director of Greenpeace Japan Junichi Sato says: "It is already clear that the whale meat sales from research whaling is devious. Any more government funding for whaling not only goes against the objective of the third supplementary budget but also brings a sense of distrust against Japan internationally."
Executive director of Iruka & Kujira (dolphin & whale) Action Network (IKAN), Nanami Kurasawa, commented on the planned waste of public money under the name of reconstruction support: "Within only 2 days, 14 various citizen's groups expressed support for the statement letter. I think this is a result of many people feeling that we should give all resources to the regeneration of the coastal communities and disaster victim support. I believe that going forward there will be even more supporters of this statement."
*2: Joint Statement : See below
Use the money for Tohoku regeneration and disaster victim support!
Oct 21st 2011, the Cabinet approved an additional annual budget, and made the budget public. This additional annual budget is aimed to help rebuild and support the affected area and people from the triple disaster on March 11. However, one of the requests by Fisheries Agency, titled as "Measures to stabilize the scientific whaling research program," is aimed "to conduct scientific whaling in the Southern Ocean according to the original plan," and thus has no link to the recovery plan of the affected area.
According to media reports, the whaling program last February suffered 1.9 billion yen in debt, with overall project cost being 3 billion yen. If this additional 2.28 billion yen is to be spent on research whaling, it sends a signal to the people that the government's vested interests is in prolonging the dying whaling program with tax payers money.
After the March disaster, Japan has received various assistance and aid from governments, non-governmental organizations and private sectors from all over the world. Yet, the Japanese government created serious problems by releasing massive radiation to the sea. If we are to spend our tax on the whaling program that is not supported by many countries, the global community will have a serious doubt in Japanese government and the nature of its recovery plan. It may even appear to the world that their assistance and favor is returned with offensive manners.
We demand that the additional budget of 2.28 billion yen to be used for priority projects that actually helps the affected people and coastal areas.
Added on 4th November