NGOs tell Japanese government: Approving more research whaling is a waste of taxpayers’ money and a risk to Japan’s reputation

June 16, 2017

Tokyo, Japan - The Government of Japan today passed the “Bill On the Implementation of Cetacean Scientific Research for the Resumption of Commercial Whaling” (translation by IKAN), despite opposition by environmental groups from Japan and the itnernational community, and with virtually no debate within the Diet (parliament).

The passage of the bill will:

  1. Secure multi-year funding for research whaling
  2. Build a new whaling “mothership” to continue research whaling
  3. Roll out promotion campaigns for these specific industries using public funds, and
  4. Toughen immigration controls on foreign activists and shun global opinion.

There are two primary problems with the bill.


Joint Statement We Demand the Government of Japan to Revoke NEWREP-NP!

December 2nd, 2016

Joint Statement

We Demand the Government of Japan to Revoke NEWREP-NP!

TO: Prime Minister Sinzo Abe
TO:Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Yuji Yamamoto
TO Director-General of Fisheries Agency Kazuo Sato

On November 8th, the Japanese government submitted the new Scientific Whale Research Program for the western North Pacific (NEWREP-NP) to the International Whaling Commission Scientific Committee (IWC-SC). This plan not only undermines the resolution adopted by the IWC but also it is clearly incongruous to the “sustainable use” that Japan has been claiming their practice to be.
We hereby demand the Japanese government immediately revoke the program.

  1. Stop the hunt of 100 minke whales off the coasts of Japan and 47 minke whales of the rare J-stock in Okhotsk seas, and the 27 minke whales to be taken directly by the whaling fleet.
  2. Stop NEWREP-NP’s planned hunt of 140 sei whales.


We are against research whaling for the reasons stated below:

  1. This program is no different from JARPAII, which the International Court of Justice (ICJ) didn't recognize as having 'scientific purpose.' Implementing the program also goes against the resolution adopted by the 65th Meeting of International Whaling Commission that stated the program needed be discussed at the Commission before its implementation.
  2. Due to the decline in domestic demand for whale meat, there is no company that wishes to restart economically unviable large-scale commercial whaling in the open waters.
  3. A considerable amount of tax money has been spent on the whaling program, and the amount only keeps growing. Research whaling has now become a state-run business, and the Japanese public including who don't eat whale meat are paying for it.
  4. Research whaling is the obstacle to an international agreement, blocking the reopening of the coastal small-type whaling.
  5. Marine research in Antarctica should be done by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR.) 6) The budget spent on research whaling should be allocated to researching coastal areas and supporting the revitalization of coastal fisheries.


Japanese NGO Joint Statement Regarding the International Whaling Commission’s meeting 66

October 18. 2016

Japanese NGO Joint Statement
Regarding the International Whaling Commission’s meeting 66
(Being held in Slovenia, October 20-28)
Statement translated from the original Japanese

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Yuji Yamamoto
Director-General of Fisheries Agency Kazuo Sato

We, Iruka & Kujira (Dolphin & Whale) Action Network, Greenpeace Japan and a collective of Japanese NGOs, request the Government of Japan to undertake the following:

1. Respect past resolutions adopted by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and do not issue new permits intended to approve research whaling in Antarctica and the Northwest Pacific ocean, including for ‘coastal research whaling.’

2. Revoke the budget for restarting commercial whaling, since industrial whaling companies have already abandoned this as a viable business venture and there is no possibility of private firms newly entering this industry.

3. Reallocate the ¥5.1 billion budget currently allocated to research whaling and instead allocate this funding for research on coastal ecosystems and marine resources, to preserve the health of the sea.


Joint Statement Stop NEWREP-A: The Research Plan Ignores International Rules

~A statement against the departure of research whaling fleets ~


The government of Japan announced that it would abide by the international judgement in response to the International Court of Justice ruling against the Antarctic research whaling (JARPAII) that came out last March. However, on October 6th this year the government sent a letter to the UN to amend its declaration to abide by the ICJ agreement, to avoid having further lawsuits from other countries. The government is now forcing ahead with more Antarctic research whaling under its new plans.
We demand the government respect the international rules and not carry out any new research whaling program.