Japan buying votes

June 14th, 2010 at 4:35 pm by David Farrar

blogs at Frog Blog:

A Sunday Times investigation has exposed Japan for bribing small nations with cash and prostitutes to gain their support for the mass slaughter of whales.

The British seem to excel at this type of investigative journalism (think Fergie) and this will really embarrass the Japanese industry. While we’ve known for a long time that Japan uses aid money to buy votes at the IWC, this investigation gives amounts and a personal touch to the reality. For example, the Tanzanian Commissioner Geoffrey Nanyaro, who talks about an all expenses paid trips to Japan and being set up with prostitutes there – “…it starts by saying: do you want massaging? Are you not lonely? You don’t want any comfort?” Like the experiences certain former ministers are having here, these practises behind closed doors look outrageous once they are out in the open.

Will it impact on the IWC negotiations currently happening in Morocco? I’m not sure – it’s embarrassing but I imagine the ‘bought’ nations will keep voting with Japan who also provocatively sent out its whaling fleet for the Northern Pacific hunt last week.

I’m not a fan of the lunatics at Sea Shepherd, but neither am I fan of the Japanese Government on the whaling issue. Their shameless vote buying at the IWC would get them jailed if it was done on a person to person basis, rather than govt to govt.

This is partly why a negotiated agreement with Japan would be a useful outcome – it would end the years of corruption that has almost destroyed the IWC’s credibility.

New Zealand has negotiated in good faith to try and reach a diplomatic compromise, and I still hope we can reach one that strengthens whale conservation, but this really is an outrageous practice by Japan that makes joining Australia in taking a case to the International Court of Justice a much more appealing option.

Like Gareth, I believe a diplomatic compromise that enhances whale conservation would be a good thing. I have to say it is not looking highly likely. If the diplomatic route fails, then the ICJ is worth considering. However that has its dangers also – if you lose, then the Japanese position will be greatly improved.

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57 Responses to “Japan buying votes”

  1. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    old news farrar..

    i had this yesterday morning…

    http://whoar.co.nz/2010/revealed-japan%e2%80%99s-bribes-on-whaling/

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  2. GPT1 (2,106 comments) says:

    Japn has been doing this for years. Its about as subtle as, say, hiding whaling behind a scientific guise. I still dislike sea shepherd more though!

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  3. GPT1 (2,106 comments) says:

    Although the mind boggles at what a nation does with a prostitute!

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  4. Thomas the Unbeliever (141 comments) says:

    Surely Sir Geoffrey has proven immune to the lure of the Geisha House! Perhaps Shane Jones should trade his parliamentary resignation for a posting on the IWC. He is qualified in so many ways for this sort of work – in a way that St Geoffrey the Pristine is not.

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  5. Subway (13 comments) says:

    Yeah, but no one reads your pseudo blog Philu. Perhaps if you focused on quality content rather than regurgitating every news piece you could find people might actually read and comment.

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  6. Kiwi Poll Guy (22 comments) says:

    No sure about cash and prostitutes, but like Japan many anti-Whaling countries are fairly blunt about the implications for foreign aid if the recipients weren’t to vote against whaling. I don’t think either side is any better than the other on this issue.

    > They voted with the whalers because of the large amounts of aid from Japan. One said he was not sure if his country had any whales in its territorial waters. Others are landlocked.

    There are more landlocked and non-whaling countries on the anti-whaling side of the aisle than there are on the pro-whaling side of the aisle. Landlocked Switzerland, for example, is a strong opponent of whaling. If all landlocked IWC members (Switzerland, Mongolia, etc.) were to leave the IWC then the pro-whaling countries would hold an absolute majority on the Commission.

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  7. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    point out one post/link of mine at whoar that is not ‘quality content’…

    and each day for readers….i attempt a grab at a local/international picture..

    an attempt at a record-of-note..(as it were..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  8. Ed Snack (1,801 comments) says:

    And this is different from normal diplomatic enticements and inducements exactly how ? It’s not like other nations never indulge in chequebook diplomacy is it ? Green’s just get all prissy about such things, they bribe and huckster over such things incessantly, just using different coin.

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  9. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    and the douche-bags from here don’t ‘comment’..

    cos i wd have a record of their isp…

    and they are far too fearful/paranoid to allow that..

    (what with their silly hiding behind silly fake-names…)

    found that ‘not quality’ link yet..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  10. Subway (13 comments) says:

    Whoa, IP addresses. The fact that you would have their IP address I doubt is the reason why commenters are dissuaded from your “blog” its more the fact that you post incessantly news pieces that I could (and do) read elsewhere. 18 posts and counting today, that are both hard to read and follow (correctly structured paragraphs are key). Maybe the fact that you have received 2 comments since the 28th of April might say something.
    Quality Content = People wanting to read and comment.

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  11. dime (9,676 comments) says:

    i gotta be honest.. they bought me with hookers…

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  12. Viking2 (11,283 comments) says:

    So how does this differ from the National Party paying off the Maori party with the whanau ora’s etc to get agreements or the Labour Party buying off students to get into power.
    DPF its past time you realized that most politicians are corrupt by nature except they hide the corruptness under the cloak of deal making.

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  13. Sean (299 comments) says:

    As someone who’s worked in Asia for 12-odd years now, I have to say cash and girls is not unusual. The person at the receiving end can always say no.

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  14. tvb (4,255 comments) says:

    I cannot understand why Japan is militantly placing a lot of its international prestige on the line over a few damn whales. Surely its foreign policy has more oomph than this.

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  15. BlairM (2,307 comments) says:

    I am glad Japan is fighting for their corner, and the right to fish for a plentiful resource as per IWC guidlines.

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  16. david@tokyo (263 comments) says:

    Yawn….. allegations such as these are re-run pretty much every year just prior to the IWC meetings.

    Japan grants lots of aid to many countries. The recipients of the aid, have options including
    1) turning up at the IWC meetings and mindlessly criticising their friends the Japanese
    2) turning up supporting them instead. Or,
    3) just not turning up to the meeting, but happily take the Japanese aid and don’t support the kind donors where possible.

    Some of the aid recipients tend to turn up and support Japan at the International Whaling Commission. (Some of them turn up and criticise Japan, but that gets conveniently ignored.)

    Apparently in the media of the anti-whaling countries this is supposed to be unusual.

    If we are looking for real abuse of the system a little research about what the anti-whalers did to get the “moratorium” adopted will reveal more juicy goodies than this.

    As for the guy getting the offer of a prostitute – where is the proof that he was “bribed” with such offers? From what I can see in the articles it was clear that yes, indeed prostitutes are available to people staying at hotels in Japan… But the guy in question noted that he did not indulge in these services. Besides, if they are getting 1000 bucks a day for spending from somewhere then they can probably arrange for prostitutes themselves if that’s what they are in to.

    And finally as for the IWC, it’s a WHALING organization. If it isn’t going to ever allow whaling again then there is little reason to expect the whaling nations and their supporters to remain a part of it for all eternity. Something anti-whaling politicians ought to be thinking about, but probably won’t until it’s “too late”, so to speak.

    Not that a little whaling without the assistance of anti-whaling nations will be of any real concern.

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  17. Johnboy (15,602 comments) says:

    Well shit what can I say. Unlike dime, I’ve never harpooned and gone down on a whale but if the little yellow bastards are shouting hookers I say. “What the hell”. “I’ll give it a go”. “You fucken owe us for Pearl harbour”.

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  18. Yvette (2,745 comments) says:

    ‘Phlu – “old news farrar..
    i had this yesterday morning…”

    Maybe so, ‘Phlu, but we read it here first…

    …eh?…

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  19. Johnboy (15,602 comments) says:

    You mean you don’t subscribe to Whoar.com……….eh..?

    What you thinking of woman……meh..?

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  20. david@tokyo (263 comments) says:

    tvb,

    Japan’s “international prestige” is hardly on the line over a few whales. The disagreement over whaling is tiny and insignificant and the big boys all know this. The politicians only play the game because some people like to get worked up about the Japanese eating something that they don’t.

    On the contrary, one has to ask why exactly does New Zealand see such urgent, critical need for whaling in the southern ocean to stop as soon as possible? Is it because the elections are not far away?

    It’s sure not because the whaling is unsustainable. Even the most pessimistic of abundance estimates put Antarctic minke whale numbers at over 300,000, so Japan’s current catches of less than 1,000 a year are obviously of no realistic concern.

    And likewise with respect to so-called “endangered” fin whales, they are catching hardly any at all, but hey if New Zealand were genuinely concerned about it they could surely offer to accept Japan’s minke whaling if only Japan will leave alone the so-called “endangered” fin whales?

    Yet, we never ever see such compromise offers, which goes to show that New Zealand’s opposition to whaling has nothing at all to do with genuine conservation concerns.

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  21. Yvette (2,745 comments) says:

    Il, Johnboy, est-ce que n’importe qui souscrit à prostitute.com ?

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  22. Johnboy (15,602 comments) says:

    Of course if we enforced the same sanctions against the Japanese as we do against the Norwegians, Icelanders and Eskimo (sorry Inuit). The little yellow chaps would surrender tomorrow! :)

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  23. Johnboy (15,602 comments) says:

    Phil le whoar ne vous prostituerait jamais Yvette

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  24. MikeE (555 comments) says:

    Gimme hookers and cash, and I’ll eat whales too.

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  25. david@tokyo (263 comments) says:

    Regarding the ICJ case, Australia is pretty much guaranteed to lose.

    Like it or not, since stopping commercial whaling in ’87 Japan has been conducting research. The research is only of use to those with an interest in using whales consumptively, but that’s entirely in line with the Whaling convention. A court will surely recognise this, rather than Australia’s wishful thinking about what the Whaling commission should be. The words of the whaling convention can not be meaningless.

    My guess is that the Japanese side will probably turn their attentions (with glee) to the ICJ case once this year’s IWC meeting ends at the end of the month (in failure, as seems almost certain).

    The lesson from the ICJ case for the anti-whalers will be that there is simply a limit to how far a Whaling convention can be abused by them. It is foolish in the extreme to think that a Whaling convention could be used to “ban” whaling for all eternity. Even if it were possible to legally do so, the whaling nations would simply quit the organization and pursue their interests through other venues.

    Culture and Conservation need to be separated – it’s fine to be opposed to whaling, but one has to accept the rights of sovereign nations to take part in it if they so desire. At that point what is important is ensuring whales are properly conserved, and that’s the limit of where New Zealand’s political stance should be. Pretending that Antarctic minke whales can not support a harvest is not realistic.

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  26. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    If we don’t stand against these pissing competitions… we all loose.

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  27. Johnboy (15,602 comments) says:

    Not if we get turned on by golden showers!

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  28. big bruv (13,571 comments) says:

    I care passionately about animal welfare, the annual whale slaughter is something that pisses me off, todays revelations only proves how slippery the Japanese are about the whole thing.

    However, as much as I hate Whaling I detest the way the NZ Greens use the slaughter to make cheap political gain.

    Make no mistake, when it comes to animal welfare the Greens are full of shit, an example of this is the way they refused to pressure Labour into doing anything about pigs in crates and battery hens when they had the chance.
    They (the Greens) will claim that they never had the numbers to force Labours hand, well, as we know now they had the numbers to force through the anti smacking bill and numerous other pieces of social engineering when it suited them so their claims of not having support do not stand up.

    Yet time and time again they have the bare faced cheek to campaign on the animal welfare ticket, time and time again they make promises that they have no intention of ever keeping, and time and time again a few thousand Kiwis vote for them on that basis.

    The truth is that the Greens do not give a fuck, they cynically use the animal welfare vote to get elected, they also have no real concern about the whale slaughter, if they were genuinely interested in stopping it they would be right behind a reducing negotiated agreement.
    The Greens know that idiots like Hughes are going to alienate as many possible fringe supporters as they gain, they do not care, this is simply an issue that will bring them column inches and radio and TV air time.

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  29. Johnboy (15,602 comments) says:

    Exactly BB. When I see us getting all excited about the disgusting European and Indigenous whalers then I will get really pissed about the the little yellow fellows killing them.

    Double standards folks!!

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  30. david@tokyo (263 comments) says:

    big bruv,

    I think you are correct regarding the Greens, but their approach to whaling is the same as the approach to whaling by pretty much all politicians in anti-whaling nations.

    Essentially priority is given to maintaining the “no whaling!” policy, as fruitless as it may be, as opposed to doing anything that might “save whales”. Anti-whaling is more about maintaining that “principle” for the sake of it rather than the sake of any whales.

    The current National govt is unusual in that they are entertaining the IWC proposal, but it’s not clear that they actually care about whales either. McCully labeled the proposal to allow hunting of fin whales “offensive”, but the underlying principles of that position are unclear. On other issues this would be fatal, but no one in NZ really cares about whaling enough to question it.

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  31. david@tokyo (263 comments) says:

    Johnboy,

    I think Japan gets more because it’s Japan but also because it’s hunting in international waters, where as others have stopped hunting in international waters for the time being. It’s not that Norway and Iceland wouldn’t, but they have tiny populations and can catch enough in their own EEZ. Japan is much bigger, and is the only nation that is still relevant in terms of what the IWC was established for (coordination of hunts in international waters like the southern ocean).

    Some people are probably a little racist about it but that is a distraction. The real issue, IMHO, is that if whales can be sustainably harvested in accordance with international regulations then where is the problem?

    Culture gets in the way at this point with people making all manner of excuses as to why it shouldn’t be allowed. This then annoys the Japanese, and makes them want to eat whale even more, perpetuating the issue.

    A bar in my neighborhood was serving whale dishes for a while earlier this year precisely because it was a topical food thanks to what the Sea Shepherd nut jobs had been up to. Some of the whale they were serving came from the research programmes that Sea Shepherd opposes, so ironically they appear to be helping to self-perpetuate what they claim to be trying to stop!

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  32. Johnboy (15,602 comments) says:

    Its just a pissing competition like RKB said david.

    We like whales (and God they are magnificent creatures). I could no longer harpoon one than cut my own throat.

    Some Japs fancy them in their cut lunches and never the twain shall meet (meat).

    I believe the majority of Japanese ain’t that fussed on whaling or eating the product but when us barbarians get their backs up I’m pretty sure they will eat a lot more on principle.

    Best we invite lots of Japanese over to Kaikoura, watch the whales, eat oysters, cray, and lamb, take their yen.

    Softly, softly catchee monkey. :)

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  33. Yvette (2,745 comments) says:

    Johnboy -“Best we invite lots of Japanese over to Kaikoura, watch the whales, eat oysters, cray, and lamb, take their yen.”

    I more or less suggested this about a week ago on this blog. In fact I suggested competitions be run in Japan with the winners flown out here to Kaikoura for, as Johnboy now says, “watch the whales, eat oysters, cray, and lamb, [take their yen]”
    Also make one trip available to a member of the audience in ELLEN [USA] to gain international publicity for it.
    It would be smarter than flouncing around the Southern Ocean, throwing rancid butter acid at Japanese whalers, who are doing what the present Whaling Commission rules allow them to [read them].
    But, then, just how smart are Sea Shepherd, and how sincere are their motives?

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  34. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Nothing wrong with a bit of chequebook diplomacy.

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  35. Yvette (2,745 comments) says:

    Part of the issue is ‘saving face’, which very few outside Japan seem to understand, and having seen it in action, it is a pity there is not a greater appreciation of the factor it is in this.

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  36. david@tokyo (263 comments) says:

    Johnboy,

    You’re right. On an average day a Japanese consumer isn’t going to eat whale, with so many options available these days.

    But that doesn’t mean they are happy to have that dictated to them, so it will ultimately result in more whales getting harpooned than would otherwise be the case.

    The smart option would be to just let them catch some whales on a sustainable basis, be involved with the monitoring, and give them the ‘win’.

    That’s the way to “save some whales”. Eventually they may decide they don’t want to waste time catching any at all.

    But this sort of subtle reverse psychology doesn’t suit the agenda of the anti-whaling movement.

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  37. Johnboy (15,602 comments) says:

    Comme toujours mon amour je prennent mon conseil de vous Yvette.

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  38. david@tokyo (263 comments) says:

    Yvette,

    Just IMHO, the “face saving” idea here is BS.

    The Japanese do actually believe their arguments are right and that they should win this dispute on merits.

    I see it the other way around – the people who can’t imagine admitting they are wrong are those of the anti-whaling movement. After making out that “commercial whaling is evil” etc. for so long, to now turn around and accept that a little sustainable whaling isn’t doing any harm is to admit that one has been talking crap for the better part of quarter of a century. A huge loss of face. “Face saving” is not unique to the Japanese culture. No one likes to be embarrassed, least of all the self-righteous cultural intolerants of the anti-whaling persuasion.

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  39. Johnboy (15,602 comments) says:

    david: They are too stupid to realize that saving face is so important to the oriental mind. The Greenie movement is composed of righteous fools alas. Not much will change with the new lineup we have in the NZ Greenies. Out with the old. In with the same old, same old, just wearing a different face.

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  40. Johnboy (15,602 comments) says:

    Ok I eat shit! :)

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  41. wat dabney (3,724 comments) says:

    For Japanese hookers dressed as schoolgirls they can get the head, the tail, the whole damn fish as far as I’m concerned.

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  42. Yvette (2,745 comments) says:

    david@tokyo – “Yvette, Just IMHO, the “face saving” idea here is BS”

    This ‘saving face’ factor is largely that the Japanese tell the world they are whaling for science, while a loophole allows them to do that. The ‘face’ that is being saved is ours.

    I have seen the rules of a well established international event changed to accommodate one Japanese dignitary, rather than have a disagreement cause him to ‘loose face’ – a case in which majority vote was diverted and a different rule engaged to allow a compromise – a considerable reversal of ‘Western thinking’, and also the interesting point was: it worked.

    The Sea Shepherd idiots don’t see that, or ignore it – and in fact throw rancid butter at mental ‘samurai warriors’.

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  43. Yvette (2,745 comments) says:

    Je ne comprends pas, Johnboy, pourquoi vous dites que vous mangez la merde. N’êtes-vous pas un bon cuisinier ?

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  44. Johnboy (15,602 comments) says:

    Même un bon cuisinier doit parfois manger ses mots.

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  45. tvb (4,255 comments) says:

    On the day the National Government reaches a historic agreement for Maori and New Zealand the Labour Party is mired in scandal. Three of its MPs are demoted, one who is supposed to be its future gets demoted for paying for porn using Government money another of the Maori MPs gets demoted for misusing a credit card for personal gain and the third one gets demoted for grossly misspending expences The contrast between the two parties could not be clearer. The political destruction of the Labour Party continues. I hope it is final and permanent.

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  46. Yvette (2,745 comments) says:

    And Carter on ONE News said he didn’t believe has done anything wrong.
    Why then is he accepting the demotion?
    We are not Japanese and alas he can’t save face.

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  47. Yvette (2,745 comments) says:

    Ah, Johnboy, vous avez une manière dont avec des mots est parfois infiniment comme la bonne cuisine ! Même si vous êtes de temps en temps plutôt vilain.

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  48. david@tokyo (263 comments) says:

    Yvette,

    Sure, what you describe is how the anti-whaling movement proponents see things.

    But as for the Japanese themselves, they don’t see it that way. They decided to stop commercial whaling (unlike Norway) and switch to research whaling, not by what is a “loophole”, but by what is a fully fledged article of the whaling convention itself. (Incidentally this saw numbers of whales caught by Japan chopped down from the thousands to the hundreds, but the anti-whaling movement maintains that the research whaling is “commercial”, anyway, because besides the biological samples taken the meat from these whales is not wasted but used as food as is normal)

    The “moratorium” was established within the context of the whaling convention, so its inside out to have a fully fledged article of the whaling convention regarded as a “loophole” versus the moratorium, which constitutes a mere temporary management measure which is sub-ordinate to the convention.

    The Japanese also provide biological samples etc to the IWC’s Scientific Committee in accordance with the convention, and the data is being used in the IWC Scientific Committee’s research activities, although the information is of little value to the anti-whaling movement and so they happily ignore it when the results do not suit them.

    Here’s one example of data obtained by Japan through it’s research programme being utilised by the IWC’s Scientific Committee:
    http://www.iwcoffice.org/_documents/sci_com/SC62docs/SC-62-IA11.pdf

    “Analyses of the combined commercial and JARPA catch-at-age data have provided robust indication of trends in minke whale recruitment which have important implications for understanding of the population’s dynamics”, notes the author (who is not Japanese!).

    So I agree that Sea Shepherd are a bunch of idiots, but for slightly different reasons to you :)

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  49. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..The political destruction of the Labour Party continues. I hope it is final and permanent…”

    i disagree…

    goff will see a fillip in the polls…

    he has shown himself to be decisive/strict….

    (as opposed to key..with heatley ..who actually falsifed his receipt..to make it eligible…and got a wee smack on the hand from key..)

    the actions of goff..just show up the inaction of key..

    and perhaps more importantly…

    ..the public now know that goffs expenses..for nine years…have been gone through..

    ..and he is squeaky-clean…

    the import of that for the electorate will only grow between now and the next election…

    (especially when they look back..and consider/remember heatley/double-dip from dipton..tim ‘hic!’ groser..

    ..the list ids long..and tawdry..)

    whereas goff….has proven he can be trusted to be both trusted…

    ..and to do the right thing..when required…

    ..(whereas..once again..key has proven a failure at that..)

    ..now..up untill now..i thought goff wd have to go…and the sooner the better..

    i have now changed my mind on that…

    ..and see (a young-looking) goff…after the reshuffles complete the generational change/break with the past..

    ..leading a young/fresh/smart labour team into the next election…

    ..with him as mr squeaky-clean/a man of his word…..

    ..goff will be able to stand tall…and list the litany of broken promises from national..

    ..how national lied about so many things before the last election…

    ..and i see goff as with a much better than before chance of becoming prime minister next year…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  50. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Their shameless vote buying at the IWC would get them jailed if it was done on a person to person basis, rather than govt to govt.

    Small beer. On a pro-rata basis, countries bribing the IOC would be sending squadons of A380′s, overcapacity with hookers directly to Lausanne.

    [DPF: Heh true. I understand things at IOC are somewhat more restrained than in the past though]

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  51. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    ..and i see goff as with a much better than before chance of becoming prime minister next year…

    If an evidence of a total rationality bypass is needed.. there it is.

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  52. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    It won’t happen IMO phil, because Goff just doesn’t have it, for people to accept him as their PM. He doesn’t project it without even thinking about it. He tries too hard. He’s devoted all his life to politics and he’s got the skills that they all pick up like dressing well which they do once we start paying them – ever notice that? But he just doesn’t have the PM X-factor and IMO, people won’t flock to him and he’ll be very sad but I guess he’ll just have to survive on that measly $80-100k for life that you and I have given him for his service, over the years, won’t he. I don’t think I’ll be at his funeral.

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  53. Murray (8,842 comments) says:

    Is phool paying DPF for advertising on kiwiblog? If not then hes spamming.

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  54. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    i think ‘honesty’..and truth-telling…

    will be key drivers in the next election..

    and goff stands tall there…

    key is squatted beside him…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  55. ben (2,414 comments) says:

    I missed the bit where farming of non-endangered species is a Bad Thing.

    Slippery slope here folks. First the whales, then wild pigs, then they’ll come for beef and pork.

    The entire anti-whaling movement is a classic example of the inability of activists to let go. Rather than shut down the protests when whales were declared not to be endangered, they simply shift the goal posts, make up another reason to oppose, and keep protesting.

    Go Japan.

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  56. LiberalismIsASin (288 comments) says:

    One thing you don’t hear, or at least I haven’t about whaling is whether the whales the japanese hunt are an endangered species or not. Can anyone enlighten me about this?

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  57. david@tokyo (263 comments) says:

    LiberalismIsASin,

    There are disagreements about which whales are and aren’t endangered. Of course the Japanese (and Norwegians and Icelanders) hunt whales that they consider to not be endangered, and don’t hunt whales that they consider endangered.

    However the IUCN Red List criteria are defined in such a way that has the Fin whale listed as “Endangered”.

    So some anti-whaling proponents use these IUCN Red List criteria as a basis for claiming that Fin whales are “endangered” in the normal English sense of the word, too. Whether that is reasonable is debatable, but it’s a debate that no one bothers to have anyway.

    Japan catches less than handful of these Fin whales a year (although they’d like to be catching 50 apparently), and Iceland is catching more than 100. (The Fin whale populations they target are distinct though, North Atlantic stock versus Southern Ocean stock.)

    Then there are other species such as the Antarctic minke whale are not endangered, even according to the IUCN Red List criteria.

    At the IWC, which is the body responsible as opposed to the IUCN Red List, they have rules for commercial whaling that specify that no whale stock below 54% of it’s estimated carrying capacity can be harvested. So whales stocks are protected well before they are ever close to being “endangered”, in the English sense of the word. Even under harvest, a whale stock will typically be maintained at levels of higher than 70%. This is much higher than is the case with other marine resources, so it’s very conservative.

    However these rules have never been applied in practice because the IWC refuses to lift it’s “moratorium” and set catch limit at all, thanks to the stance of nations like New Zealand and Australia within the whaling organization.

    As a result, the whaling nations use the legal mechanisms available to them in the whaling convention to either plainly catch whales (ignoring the moratorium, and using the rules unilaterally like Norway and Iceland) or do so for primarily scientific purposes (like Japan), in pursuit of the stated aims and purpose of the whaling convention.

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