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Australia must end its deliberate silence on whaling when meeting with Japan

Media Release
Peter Whish-Wilson 19 Nov 2015

Greens spokesperson for Whaling, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, congratulates the Humane Society International for their successful legal action against the Japanese whaling company, Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha, in the Federal Court yesterday. Senator Whish-Wilson said that the judgement against whaling in Australia’s Antarctic whale sanctuary leaves the Liberal government with no choice but to end their ongoing silence on the issue at the highest diplomatic levels.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “The Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is meeting with her Japanese counterpart in Sydney on Sunday. If the government do not raise whaling in the meeting they are sending a signal to the Japanese that they can re-start  illegal whaling in the Southern Ocean without any consequences. She must personally make it clear how strongly the Australian people feel about this issue.

“For too long the Liberals have refused to raise whaling at the highest levels with Japan. Bilateral and multilateral meetings with Japan come and go and Australia’s silence on whaling hangs over these meetings like a bad smell.

“In opposition, not a single meeting between the two governments would pass without Greg Hunt calling for the Australian Prime Minister to personally take the whaling argument up to the Japanese Prime Minister.

“Despite Japan snubbing the International Court of Justice and the International Whaling Commission, the Liberals, now in government, refuse to raise the issue at the highest levels.

“This deliberate silence on whaling must stop. Australia cannot take a stand against whaling while we have tape across our lips,” he concluded.

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