Friday, August 23, 2013

WikiLeaks: Washington and Tokyo plotted secret whaling deal; targeted Sea Shepherd in 2010

Thanks to Chelsea Manning and Wikileaks, we know (via John Vidal, environment editor at The Guardian):
WikiLeaks: Secret whaling deal plotted by US and Japan: American diplomats proposed Japan reduce whaling in exchange for US help cracking down on the anti-whaling activists Sea Shepherd, leaked cables reveal

Japan and the US proposed to investigate and act against international anti-whaling activists from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as part of a political deal to reduce whaling in Antarctic waters.

Four confidential cables [dated from 2009 to 2010] from the US embassy in Tokyo and the state department in Washington, released by WikiLeaks, show US and Japanese diplomats secretly negotiating a compromise agreement ahead of a key meeting last year of the International Whaling Commission, the body that regulates international whaling.

The American proposal would have forced Japan to reduce the number of whales that Japan killed each year in the Antarctic whale sanctuary in return for the legal right to hunt other whales off its own coasts. In addition, the US proposed to ratify laws that would "guarantee security in the seas" – a reference to acting against groups such as Sea Shepherd that have tried to physically stop whaling.

The US proposal was eventually shot down by Britain and the EU in June 2010, but the cables show that the Sea Shepherd group had become a political embarrassment to Japan after stopping its whaling fleet reaching its annual quota of whale killed for several years.

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