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Japan in UN Court on Whaling

Updated on January 30, 2015

Australian Whale

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Australia Takes Japan to UN Court


The latest word is that the trial is in process and they are going to be waiting for the results of the trial probably until the end of this year 2013. Japan has tried to state that the laws are allowing them to do the whaling.

Australia has waited three years to take Japan to UN Court over the whale hunting in its whale sanctuary. It is unclear yet if this will do much good or if it will be just another slap on the wrist for Japan over its whale hunting.

International law has had a moratorium on whale hunting since 1986. But Japan has been getting out of obeying the law by saying that they were doing it for scientific research. There are reports that after they have the whales they then sell them for the whale meat to the public in Japan.

The Australian lawyer has already told the court that Japan is hiding behind the idea of science research in order to hunt the whales. Japan does not really care what other countries think of their whale hunting.

In Australia there has already been a Federal ruling that the hunting is illegal in 2008. The Humane Society International asked the government in Australia in the past to enforce the laws against Japan doing the hunting.

Japan will not stop the hunt for whales. Its population is used to eating whale meat and they will pay for it. There is no stigma attached to eating it there for the most part. They have also, so it is recorded, been selling dolphin meat also as whale meat. It gets labeled there as being whale meat. It can be expensive meat to buy.

I have noticed another hub on here from 2007 about getting people to sign a petition against them doing humpback whale hunting in the same area for the whale sanctuary in Australia. So this is an ongoing battle with Japan.

Whale Beach, Australia

Whale Beach, Australia
Whale Beach, Australia | Source

Australia Goes to Court with Japan in UN

2008 Japanese Whaling Ship and Protesters

Hostage protestors aboard the whaling Japanese ship
Hostage protestors aboard the whaling Japanese ship | Source

Japan and Whaling Protesters


In 2008 the Japanese were whale hunting in Antartica. Protesters from Australia had tried to stop the ship from hunting the whales. It was then shortly ruled to be an illegal hunt by the court.

The protestors from Australia were taken as hostages of sorts. The hostages were tied to the ship. One of the hostages was reported to have been beaten. The Japanese accused them of throwing things and attempting to sabotage their hunt. They were eventually released to the safety of an Australian ship.


In February, 2013 a Japanese whaling vessel rammed the ship Bob Barker set to protest in the Southern Whale Sanctuary of Australia.

Japanese Whaler Rams Protest Ship at Sanctuary

Whales in South Australia

Whale and baby
Whale and baby | Source

Humpback Whale

Humpback whale breaching in Alaska
Humpback whale breaching in Alaska | Source
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Dolphin

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Japan is Killing Dolphins


Japan has a dolphin killing season from September to May. There is no International law preventing them from killing the dolphins. It is only protection for the whales. As in the movie that gained a lot of attention about it "The Cove," the dolphins are rounded up and slaughtered.

Some of the dolphins are supposed to be captured to be sold to parks that do the dolphin shows. But the rest of them will be killed. They are used sometimes in place of the whale meat. The meat gets labelled as whale meat.

People have been trying to do something about it but it is impossible to get Japan to stop and to do anything about it. There is a new method of killing them now that they say is even worse with the spikes.

Final Words


This is not something new that is happening. Protesting has been going on for years. The Australian government has been trying to stop Japan from going into its whale sanctuary and taking the whales under their noses. The citizens of Australia, many of them, resent Australia being unable to do anything about it. They see it as being a case where the government should go in and do something to stop it.

It is a difficult and thorny subject. The Japanese have many excuses on this and their lost jobs. Their idea to them is that the whales and dolphins are just other fish. Protests do not mean a lot to them.

There is also the fact that the US lets the Native American Alaskans there hunt whales. It is something where they only take so many that they need. That does not mean that I think it is okay with Japan. They are being hunted to extinction.

I don't want to go into more graphic details on the killing and hunting as the details are sordid and it will not help anything. So far now I am not adding that. You can see that in other details if you want to find out and look for it.

There is more information out there on the Internet and in magazines and books. It is not difficult to find. The information about Japan and its clashes with the protesters is all over the Internet.

I can only say that there seems to be nothing that makes people angrier than seeing people hunting these gentle creatures.


Japan Whale Hunting

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Hawaiian Sanctuary

Humpback whale
Humpback whale | Source

Japanese Greenpeace Whaling Protest


In 2008 two Japanese Greenpeace activists were arrested over the whale meat that they had found on its way to be sold in Japan. Their names are Junich Sato and Toru Suzuki. They took the meat in hopes of showing it to the police that it was illegal. They were instead arrested.

From what I can find out it looks as if Greenpeace was not successful in winning the case. They faced up to eighteen months in jail if they were arrested. The Japanese boat said that it was just going to show it as souvenirs and not to be selling the meat.

Others are now protesting using some art as the means of protesting the whaling. Peggy Oki has an art project called the Origami Whales Project in California. It had 30,000 origami whales in 2007. It is nice to know that something is being done about it. Other participants wrote their messages on it.

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