It will be interesting to see what happens when Japan thinks it will get what it wants from the IWC and will no longer have to rely on its sponsored acolytes in the Caribbean. Sir Ronald Sanders writing in the Antigua Sun ponders what will happen if the IWC gives Japan its coveted commercial whaling.
The IWC is meeting in secret session this week, - well 24 nations of the IWC’s membership, are meeting in Cambridge in the UK, to try and force through a secret deal that the outgoing US administration seems desperate to achieve. Not content with unwinding other environmental protection, it would seem that the Bush administration is focused on giving the whalers some form of commercial whaling as a parting gift.
Sir Ronald notes ‘If, indeed, the outgoing Bush administration and the Japanese government manage to agree a package that gives Japan what it wants, Japan will have no further requirement to recruit countries to support it at the IWC. Once Japan no longer requires such support, there will be no need to continue to give incentives to any country in return for its support. So the Japanese might get their way, and the leverage of the small Caribbean countries might disappear as would the blandishments of the Japanese.’
Sir Ronald poses some relevant questions. So, will the Caribbean nations change their position before the sell out or will they go down with the deal? Without Japan to help them out how many of them will remain part of the IWC in these difficult economic times? Because these small nations are committed to conservation aren’t they? – So they must be intending to stay even if they have to pay for attending to support an industry that does nothing for them or their growing whale watching industry. Or is their idea of preservation the preserves you find in a Japanese pickling jar! Interesting times, especially when Japan is reported in other fora to be reluctant to 'become the ATM for the world' when it come to climate change. Seems they don't mind when it directly benefits them and whaling.
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