Greens spokesperson for Healthy Oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, says that Japan announcing plans for a new whaling mother-ship is a slap-in-the-face to Australia’s anti-whaling position and shows that the Turnbull Government’s ever-weakening position on the issue is providing new confidence to pro-whaling forces in Japan.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Only hours after Malcolm Turnbull left Japan’s shores, where he failed to condemn its illegal Southern Ocean whaling, plans for the construction of a new whaling mother-ship were released to the press.
“This is a deliberate provocation. It is a symbol from Japanese whalers to the world, that not even Australia, the country that took Japan to the International Court of Justice, is prepared to stand up against whaling any more.
“While the Australian people are still as steadfastly resolved in opposition to whaling in the Southern Ocean and want their Government to act, the Turnbull Government has taken the issue off the agenda. This weakness has given a green-light to the Japanese Government by showing that we will turn a blind eye to their activities.
“Australians would be offended to hear that Malcolm Turnbull praised Japan for its commitment to an international rules-based order, while it is currently in breach of an Australian Federal Court ruling and has pulled out of the International Court of Justice. Turnbull is out and out ignoring Japan’s routine breaches of Australian and International law over its whaling activities.
“A new whaling mother-ship symbolises that Japan is committed to whaling for the next 30 to 40 years and is looking to increase the slaughter of whales from the current annual quota of 333 minke whales a year.
“Malcolm Turnbull needs to stop being a doormat. He needs to stop Japan stepping all over Australia’s national interest by slaughtering our whales,” he concluded.