The Sunday Times article, whilst being a wonderful sting operation showing a list of abuses by countries that appear to be willing to sell their citizens rights (the rights of those who expect their country to represent them and not some one elses money).
However, the story is not new. In 2001 the Japan Times reported that something similar to the current 'Japanese special relationship with developing countries' has been around for a long time.
The Japan Times reported 'Asked about six Carribean nations that voted with Japan at the IWC meeting in Adelaide last year, Komatsu said: "Japanese means are simply diplomatic communication and overseas development aid. So in order to get appreciation of Japan's position, that is natural we must resort to those two major tools." The story is found in more detail in a 2001 Guardian newspaper article.
In fact WDCS was talking about this issue back in 1993. Hate to say 'told you so'.
Komatsu-san has since retired from the Japanese Far Seas Fisheries Department, but his legacy lives on