Greens spokesperson for whaling, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, said, “The Liberal Government must remove Japan from the list of eligible bidders for the twenty billion dollar plus submarine contract while the Japanese government continues to snub Australia and the world in continuing its illegal whaling in the Southern Ocean.
“Japan is not listening to diplomatic whispers from Australia over whaling; it is time to pressure them with something that will make them think twice.
“Japan, while they are actively dodging the rule of law by continuing whaling in the Southern Ocean, should be struck off the list of eligible bidders for Australia’s future submarine build.
“Today it was reported in The Australian that a senior Japanese official is warning Australia not to let whaling interfere with the Australia-Japan relationship and that the submarine deal is ‘very important’ to Japan.
“Well my message to Japan is that the illegal slaughter of whales in our waters is of utmost importance to the Australian people. Australia should not agree-to-disagree with Japan over whaling and set this issue aside. Whaling must be at the heart of any discussions with Japan.
“The Liberal Government, whether Environment Minister Hunt, Foreign Minister Bishop or Attorney General Brandis, have all been using deliberate naivety as a strategy to dodge the issue of whaling with the Japanese Government. The Liberal Government, right up to the point the harpoon boats left port in Japan, were in denial of this moment ever coming.
“The Liberal Government’s servile avoidance of the issue despite every warning to the contrary has allowed Japan the space to continue their barbaric slaughter of whales in our waters.
“Australia spent over $20 million successfully defending whales in the International Court of Justice and now the Liberal Government is letting Japan get away with defying this decision.
“It is time for the Liberal Government to step up to the plate and protect these gentle creatures: in the name of nature, in the name of the rule of law, in the name of Australia’s self-respect,” he concluded.