Subject: [cwj 52] Whale delegate quits over Japan
From: Corporate Watch in Japanese <>
Date: Thu, 06 Jul 2000 18:37:36 -0700
Seq: 52

Whale delegate quits over Japan
The Age
Friday 7 July 2000

A Caribbean minister has resigned over his country's vote against the South
Pacific whale sanctuary, in a move described as evidence of Japan's pressure
on small states for their backing.

Dominican Environment Minister Atherton Martin said in a letter he was
alarmed that the Japanese seemed to be using aid promises to manipulate his
government's vote at the International Whaling Commission.

"There is absolutely no reason for us to be held to ransom by Japan ... in
return for promises of aid," he said.

Mr Martin said Dominica had previously agreed to abstain from the vote to
keep faith with island nations that favored the sanctuary. But in the
central vote of the IWC it sided with other Caribbean nations against the

Greenpeace International spokesman John Frizell said there had been other
evidence of pressure by Japan on small nations for their votes, but it was

"This is the first time we have had a direct statement from someone in the
government involved," he said.

Mr Frizell described the Caribbean nations' bloc of six at the IWC as
crucial to the sanctuary vote, which would otherwise have reached a

Dominica, a nation of only 70,000, is reliant on tourism and fishing for its

Mr Martin, also the nation's Planning, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister,
these factors had weighed in its decision.

But he said the Pacific states that supported the Australian resolution
were also members of key international organisations that negotiated over
development assistance.

"It is vital Dominica and other Caribbean states retain the support and
goodwill of these Pacific states," he said in the letter, written to a
senior Dominican environmental figure, Mona George Dill.

At a news conference in Adelaide, Ms George Dill implored Japan to revisit its
development aid polices. She described it as a powerful government that held
micro-economies to ransom.

Japan Whaling Association spokeswoman Shigeki Misaki said Japan gave aid to
150 countries around the world, including some that remained anti-whaling.

"It's up to them to decide their position," she said. "Japan would not
force them to obey Japanese influence."

The IWC meeting closed yesterday with conservation nations still split over
best course to take to halt whaling.

The next meeting will be held in London in July, 2001.

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