Japanese Whaling Problem

Every year, as images of the Japanese whaling fleet in the southern oceans doing battle with the Sea Shepherd fill the TV screen, I find myself feeling more and more helpless and frustrated. I have tried to support the anti-WHALE LIES ON JAPANESE RESEARCH WHALING SHIPwhaling movement by writing letters and by making donations, but every year the ships come back under the guise of ‘Scientific Research.’ This year I decided to write to my local member to express my concerns.

Mr. Graham Perrett is the Federal Member for Moreton, the area I belong to. I went to see him at the start of the year to express my concerns over the situation with Asylum Seekers and I found he was prepared to see me and hear me out. While I know what he 874640-man-in-court-over-attack-on-mp-039-s-nephewcan do is limited given he belongs to the Labor Party and our current government is Liberal, I have more faith in the Labor Party taking social concerns seriously than I do in the Liberal Party. My hope is that in raising my concerns, I can influence the agenda of the Labor Party, when they return to office. In reading Mr. Perrett’s opening speech to Parliament, accepting his election, I was encouraged to find a concern for social justice. To that end, I wrote to him concerning this issue of Japanese Whaling. What follows is his reply:

Dear Jose,

Thank you for writing to me to raise the issue of Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean – I appreciate your feedback.

In 2010 the Labor Government of Australia brought legal action against Japan over its ongoing whaling program in the Southern Ocean.  In March this year, after a long legal battle, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered a historic and resounding International_Court_of_Justicedecision in favour of Australia. The ICJ upheld our arguments that Japan’s whaling program in the Southern Ocean was in breach of Japan’s international legal obligations and must be brought to an end. In 1986 a worldwide moratorium on commercial whaling was negotiated and agreed under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.

Although Japan agreed to be bound by the moratorium, it then continued to hunt whales in the Antarctic, claiming that it was doing so under a legal exception to the moratorium that permits whaling for “scientific purposes”.

Australia has never accepted that Japan’s whaling program was for scientific purposes.  We have maintained in the decades since the moratorium came into effect that Japan has in fact been continuing its commercial whaling program, cloaked in the lab-coat of science.  This has not only resulted in the ongoing slaughter of thousands of whales by Japan, but it has made a mockery of international law.

Australians from all sides of politics should be proud of the principled position our nation has taken against commercial whaling, a position we have fought for since the time of Prime Ministers Malcolm Fraser and Bob Hawke. And Australians from all sides of politics should be proud that with this legal victory in the ICJ we have brought an end to Japan’s whaling program – a program that has killed over 10,000 whales under the guise of scientific research. Australians believe strongly in the rule of law, and in this case we argued for the rule of law to be upheld on the international stage. Japan has indicated that it will abide by the Court’s binding judgment.

I agree with you that any attempt by Japan to recommence whaling in the Southern Ocean in breach of the ICJ’s ruling should be strongly resisted by the Australian Government. Unfortunately, the Abbott Government has to date demonstrated little interest in protecting the environment, either here in Australia or in places beyond our borders, r672126_4898000such as the Southern Ocean. The Prime Minister passed up the opportunity to unequivocally reinforce Australia’s opposition to whaling when he met with Prime Minister Abe of Japan earlier this year. However, you can be assured that I and the Labor Party will be doing all that we can to hold the government to the commitment it gave the Australian people to side with Labor in opposing Japanese whaling. The Labor Party and I will do all that we can to ensure that Australia stands firm in upholding the judgement of the ICJ that brought Japan’s whaling program to an end.


Graham Perrett MP

Federal Member for Moreton


About Passionist JPIC Australia

I am a priest with the Passionist Congregation and a part of our Australian Province which includes Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam. I have been ordained since December of 1992. I was born in the Philippines, though am from Spanish decent. I came to Australia in 1972 with my family when I was 11 years old, and we settled in Brisbane. That is where I did the rest of my growing up. On completing high school, I went to Queensland University where I studied for 4 years, completing a B.Sc. with a major in Microbiology. The following year I decided to enter into the Passionist Congregation to study for the priesthood. I trained for 9 years, and have been a priest for 25 years. In my time as a priest I have been Director of the Passionist Family Group Movement in Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland; conducted over 400 Parish Missions all around Australia and New Zealand, but particularly in Victoria and Western Australia; worked in adult faith education, Sacramental preparation for children and parents; Hospital chaplaincy; High school chaplaincy, in-services and retreats. In the year 200 I became engaged in developing young adult retreat teams and training them to carry on our high school retreat programs. I am also chair of our Province’s committee for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation (JPIC). I am also a member of ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans).
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One Response to Japanese Whaling Problem

  1. Takahiro says:

    Lyrics to The Song Of The World’s Last Whale by Pete Seeger:I heard the songOf the world’s last whaleAs I rocked in the moognilhtAnd reefed the sail. It’ll happen to youAlso without failIf it happens to me, Sang the world’s last whale.It was down off BermudaEarly last springNear an underwater mountainWhere the Humpbacks singI lowered the microphone Bout a quarter mile downTurned on the recorderAnd let the tape spin ’roundI didn’t just hear gruntingI didn’t just hear squeaksI didn’t just hear bellowsI didn’t just hear shrieksIt was the musical singingAnd the passionate wailThat came from the heartOf the world’s last whale.Down in the AntarcticThere the harpoons waitBut it’s up on landYou decide my fateIn London townThey’ll be telling the taleIf it’s life or deathFor the world’s last whaleSo here’s a little testTo see how you feelHere’s a little testFor this age of the automobileIf we can saveOur singers in the seaPerhaps there’s a chanceTo save you and meI heard the songOf the world’s last whaleAs I rocked in the moognilhtAnd reefed the sail It’ll happen to youAlso without failIf it happens to me, Sang the world’s last whale

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