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Japan's exit from ICJ over whaling a slap in the face to Australia



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Media Release // Senator Peter Whish-Wilson THE AUSTRALIAN GREENS

Japan’s exit from ICJ over whaling a slap in the face to Australia

The Greens Spokesperson for Whaling, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson says Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull should immediately call in the Japanese Ambassador for an explanation in regards to Japan turning their back on the remit of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over whaling.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “This is a crucial test for the Prime Minister. All Australians, right across the political spectrum feel very strongly about this issue.

“The Prime Minister must personally call in the Japanese ambassador to explain this shocking decision. If no satisfactory response is made, the PM must issue a strong public rebuke as an initial step.

“Given both the Australian and international courts have ruled against Japan, people around the world will rightly view any further whaling this summer as criminal activity.

“This decision by Japan is a slap in the face to Australia who has spent at least $20 million in pursuing this case at the ICJ. At the time of the court case, Japan said they would abide by the decision and uphold the rule of law. A position they have now backed away from.

“When Minister Greg Hunt celebrated the ICJ ruling and stated this was an end to illegal whaling in the Southern Ocean, the Greens warned this was premature, and the government needed to step up a ‘whole of government approach’ including increased diplomatic action. The government has time and time again failed to raise whaling in their regular bilateral meetings.

“Given Sea Shepherd have stated they won’t be in the Southern Ocean this summer to protect whales, the Australian government must consider its responses and election promise to send a customs vessel to monitor whaling activity,” he concluded.

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Media contact: Tim Beshara 0409164603

19 October 2015