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A Japanese government commission, called the Whale Problem Examination Meeting, which has examined the whaling issue over the past two years, has proposed that minke whaling in the Southern Ocean might be continued on a reduced scale under the special scientific permit provision.
In a July 1984 report to the Japanese government on "The Future of Whaling in Japan," the commission recommended that Japan "seek the understanding by the countries concerned that the operation area of the Japanese coastal whaling is within the 200 mile fishery zone in which our country has the jurisdiction to seek rational control and conservation of marine resources such as whales."
The Tokyo Daily Yomiuri reported in an editorial ("Whaling Ban") on 16 November 1984 that, "The Fisheries Agency (of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) is studying ways to switch from commercial whaling to investigative whaling designed to inspect and conserve whale resources.
So it is obvious that Japan has no intention to end all of its whaling. It will use semantic tricks and the scientific (or as they call it, "investigative") loophole to continue its coastal and pelagic whaling.
Indeed, we expect Japan and several other whaling nations will attempt at this July's annual meeting of the IWC to redefine their coastal whaling operations as non-commercial.
Japan, Norway, Brazil and Iceland are preparing proposals for IWC consideration that would define their non-pelagic whaling as "traditional small-scale" and/or "semi-subsistence," according to informed sources. Their intent is to exempt themselves from application of the commercial whaling moratorium and from the IWC's New Management Procedure, which provides that depleted stocks are protected from commercial exploitation.
The proposal to redefine the coastal whaling as non-commercial originated two years ago in negotiations between the U.S. and Norway over the moratorium. At a special IWC meeting on the future of the Commission last February, Norway and Japan attempted to raise this proposal for consideration. They were ruled out of order. Both nations declared they would raise this and related issues in July.
Japanese government officials are claiming that the U.S. will support their effort to reclassify Japan's coastal whaling as non-commercial, according to sources in Tokyo. If high officials at the State and Commerce Departments have committed to subverting the commercial whaling moratorium, it is a craven act taken in secrecy for political expedience.
Brazil, which did not object to the moratorium, is preparing to present a resolution at the IWC that would require a simple majority, avoiding the normal three-quarters requirement. In Iceland, moves are afoot to rescind that nation's acceptance of the moratorium. There, the Conservative Party, a major faction in the coalition government, recently decided at its annual conference to work by all possible means to legalize the continuation of Icelandic whaling. parliament is expected to debate the issue soon.
If the U.S. District Court decision is overturned, thus allowing Japan to ignore the moratorium, we can expect Norway, Brazil and Iceland -- and probably other whaling nations as well to make strong claims for reconsideration of the moratorium on grounds of injustice and inequity.
We should be prepared for the spectacle of a long line of ministers from the whaling nations arriving in Washington to petition for "special deals" with the State Department and the Commerce Department. We have little doubt that the weak-willed bureaucrats at those agencies will accede to the demands and work out new bilaterals for the subversion of the IWC moratorium and the disregard of the Pelly and Packwood-Magnuson Amendments.
Japan is preparing a frontal assault on the International Whaling Commission itself. Incensed by the transformation of the IWC from a "whalers club" to a conservation-minded body, Japan is expected to seek a new administrative arrangement within the commission involving only what it terms "responsible" nations.
The intention is to exclude from decision-making the conservation-oriented nations that have joined the IWC over the last decade, such as Switzerland, Finland, Ireland, India, Seychelles, and a large number of Third World nations. The "responsible" nations, according to Japan's thinking, are the original signatory nations to the 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, a group dominated, of course, by whaling nations.
Japan launched a bitter written and verbal assault on the conservation majority (or "irresponsible" nations in its terminology) at the special IWC meeting in February. If Japan pursues this tactic at the annual meeting in July and presses for exclusion of those nations, the IWC could disintegrate, especially if Norway and Iceland and other militant whaling nations join in the attack.
We have little doubt that these recalcitrant whaling nations would like nothing better than the destruction of the International Whaling Commission so that they could go back to their old ways of unregulated whale-killing.
The Reagan Administration's bilateral deal with Japan has opened a Pandora's box by demonstrating weakness and by encouraging the whaling nations to seek ways to evade the end of commercial whaling.
Virtually all commercial whaling in the world is sustained by Japan's purchase of the whale meat, oil and other products from giant marine mammals. Only a very small percentage of whale meat, the primary product, is consumed in nations outside Japan, with the exception of Norway, which has an internal market for much of its
The Packwood-Magnuson Amendment includes trade in prohibited When the whale products as diminishing the effectiveness of the IWC. moratorium becomes effective at the end of 1985, will the Administration regard Japan to be certifiable if it continues to import whale products from other whaling nations?
Should the Administration once again bow to Japanese demands and condone the continued trade in whale products after this year, it will be a powerful incentive for all the other whaling nations to continue their deadly business. The hard-fought moratorium could come quickly unravelled.
We believe that Japan must halt all trafficking in whale products this year. We urge the Congress to raise this issue at the If the Administration highest levels of the Reagan Administration. refuses to treat such trade as certifiable, then we shall be forced to initiate new litigation in the federal courts.
HOW THE U.S. WAS BULLIED
How did the United States get into the mess it's in?
a question that Congress should seek answers to.
From our perspective, it is apparent that Japan mobilized its well-tried tactics of constant complaining, threatening and wheedling to achieve the U.S. capitulation on the sperm whaling ban and the moratorium. Some officials in the Commerce Department resisted the Japanese pressure and advocated imposition of Pelly and Packwood-Magnuson for any violation of IWC quotas.
However, it was the State Department that proved the weak link in U.S. resolve. High-level officials in the office of the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs and in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs were committed to appeasing Japan.
Japan has enormous influence over the Japan Desk at the State Department and over the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. During the internal Administration debate over U.S. policy last fall, these State Department agencies were vigorously pressing for acceptance of every Japanese demand even continued whaling into the mid-1990's.
Japan's foreign minister, Shintaro Abe, orchestrated an incessant drum-beat of bitter complaints from his office to Secretary of State George Shultz, including angry letters and, in a dozen personal meetings over the past two years, with outbursts of rage. U.S. trade negotiators were regularly berated on the whaling issue by their Japanese counterparts.
When an impasse was reached between the State Department accomodationists and the Commerce Department hardliners last October, the State Department went to the White House to get an order forcing a "compromise. The bilateral agreement was the result.
The Administration is attempting to make the sell-out of the whales and the moratorium look just the opposite. Their public relations flacks have claimed that Japan has agreed to end all whaling, which is untrue, of course. And they conveniently ignore the embarassing fact that commercial whaling is supposed to end this year under the IWC moratorium. Rather, they refer only to their 1988 "moratorium."
Indeed, both the U.S. and Japan have been avoiding any reference to the IWC moratorium in their pronouncements on the whaling crisis. Perhaps they believe that if ignored, the IWC and its moratorium will just disappear like the Cheshire Cat in "Alice in Wonderland" and the U.S. and Japan will be left alone with their cozy little teaparty.
Reality must intrude, however. And Japan and the other whaling nations must end their slaughter of the great whales this year or face the consequences of U.S. sanctions.
We urge the Congress to help achieve this historic victory for the environment. It is within our grasp. Thank you for your interest and support.
Mr. YATRON. Thank you very much, Mr. Van Note, for your statement.
Our next witness is Mr. Mark Cheater. Mr. Cheater, it is also nice to have you back before our subcommittee again. Please proceed with your statement.
STATEMENT OF MARK CHEATER, WILDLIFE LEGISLATIVE
DIRECTOR, GREENPEACE, U.S.A.
Mr. CHEATER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I appreciate the opportunity to testify today on behalf of almost 700,000 Greenpeace supporters nationwide. Greenpeace is an international organization which has been in the forefront of efforts to confront environmental abuse for over a decade. One of our top priorities during that time has been to bring the commercial exploitation of whales to a halt. Therefore, it is with great pleasure that I testify before this subcommittee today on the whaling issue.
In the interest of time, I will summarize my remarks but ask that my full written statement be included in the record.
Mr. YATRON. Without objection, your entire statement will be included in the record, Mr. Cheater.
Mr. CHEATER. Thank you.
It will come as no surprise to members of this subcommittee that Greenpeace believes the bilateral whaling agreement to be the most egregious reversal of U.S. conservation policy in recent memory. By allowing Japanese whalers to skirt the commercial whaling moratorium with impunity, our Government has opened a Pandora's box for whale exploitation.
Specifically, this deal gives sanction to the taking of 1,200 endangered sperm whales and untold thousands of minke and Bryde's whales by the Japanese. This deal has occurred outside the estab
lished multilateral procedures for the regulation of whaling and in contravention to two of the IWC's key decisions. This deal has extracted no firm commitment from the Japanese to end their commercial whaling operations. This deal has encouraged whalers throughout the world to defy the commercial whaling moratorium. This deal is a violation of U.S. law and congressional intent. In short, this deal stinks.
It is abundantly clear to us that had the United States stood its ground with regard to the imposition of fishing sanctions against the Japanese last fall, we would now be discussing the fate of only two intransigent whaling nations; namely, the Soviet Union and Norway. It is still our conviction that if the Packwood-Magnuson sanctions are invoked against Japan they will quickly come into full and unconditional compliance with IWC mandates. For that reason, we are pressing ahead with our lawsuit in hopes that the appellate court will uphold our district court victory.
The bilateral deal will certainly be a topic for discussion at the IWC's 37th annual meeting this July. Member nations such as St. Lucia, Australia, and Sweden have already expressed concern about the implications of this deal for the successful implementation of the commercial whaling moratorium.
However, there will also be last ditch efforts by various whaling nations to subvert the moratorium from within the Commission. I would like to discuss three of these proposals briefly.
First, at a February working group session of the IWC, Japan and Norway formally proposed the creation of a new category of coastal subsistence whaling. This category, which would include the shore-based hunts for minke whales in these two countries, as well as Japanese sperm and Bryde's whale operations, would, by definition, be exempted from the commercial whaling moratorium. Although the working group took no official action on this proposal, it is highly likely that the issue will be raised again at this summer's IWC meeting. Greenpeace believes that, should the IWC approve such a motion, the commercial whaling moratorium would be rendered effectively useless.
At the February working group session the U.S. delegation made no move to counter this dangerous proposal. We urge this subcommittee to direct the U.S. IWC Commissioner to actively oppose any and all efforts to reclassify coastal whaling operations.
In a similar vein, IWC whaling nations have threatened to redefine pelagic whaling operations as "scientific research." A major loophole in the IWC's regulatory power is the virtually unrestrained ability it gives to member nations to grant themselves special permits for research whaling. In particular, the Japanese have threatened to redefine their Antarctic minke operations as research whaling in hopes of avoiding the prohibition on commercial operations and achieving technical compliance with the moratorium. They may seek IWC approval for this action.
Both of these reclassification proposals amount to nothing more than semantic gerrymandering and, as such, should be rejected in the strongest possible terms by the U.S. delegation this summer. Our Commissioner should spearhead efforts to put the IWC on record against any large-scale scientific whaling or coastal commercial operations.