Greens & Greenpeace urge new diplomatic effort to stop whaling

Greens & Greenpeace urge new diplomatic effort to stop whaling
Tuesday 8th September 2009

The Australian Greens today called on the Federal Government to
vigorously pursue negotiations with the incoming Japanese Government
over continued whaling operations in the Southern Ocean.

“Although diplomatic efforts undertaken by Minister Peter Garrett have
thus far been rather unproductive, we now have a fresh opportunity with
a new Japanese Government in place,” said Australian Greens Senator
Rachel Siewert.
“While the Democratic Party of Japan’s policy on whaling is not
dissimilar to the previous government, they have made some policy
commitments to stamp out corruption and taxpayer money waste in the
whaling industry. This is an opportunity to effect real change.”
“We also know that public opinion against whaling within Japan has been
on the rise. With the right kind of pressure from countries like
Australia, we could see actual movement towards stopping the annual
slaughter of thousands of whales,” she said.

“Here in Canberra with me today is Mr Toru Suzuki, an anti-whaling
campaigner from Greenpeace Japan. His efforts resulted in the uncovering
of whale meat black market sales, showing what we have known all along –
‘scientific’ whaling is a commercial industry with a very weak
disguise.”

“I encourage my fellow Senators and Members to attend a talk tonight by
Mr Suzuki, in which he will outline the politics behind the whaling
industry in Japan as well as discuss the dramatic change in Japan’s
political landscape, and how this can be used to diplomatically end
whaling in the Southern Ocean,” concluded Senator Siewert.

Event details:
“What will end whaling – An insider’s view’: APH Theatre, 6-8pm TONIGHT

For more information or media enquiries please call Tim Norton on 0418
401 180

________________________________________
GREENPEACE MEDIA RELEASE

Japanese activist says time is right for diplomatic end to whaling

Canberra, Tuesday, 8 September 2009: Toru Suzuki, a Greenpeace
anti-whaling activist facing up to 10 years in prison for exposing
corruption in the Japanese whaling industry, is in Australia to discuss
the opportunities the first real change of government in Japan for 50
years offers to end whaling in the Southern Ocean.

Suzuki will spend time briefing Government and Opposition MPs and
Senators on the Greenpeace campaign in Japan, the opportunities to
pressure the whaling industry with a new Government in Japan and the
upcoming court case of the Tokyo Two1.

He will also provide insight into the politics behind the whaling
industry in Japan as well as discuss the dramatic change in Japan’s
political landscape, and how this can be used to diplomatically end
whaling in the Southern Ocean.

“With the first real change of government in Japan in 50 years, we have
a window of opportunity to push the incoming government to live up to
its election promises and stamp out corruption and the waste of taxpayer
money in the whaling industry,” said Mr Suzuki. “The industry is already
struggling to stay afloat, and if it lost government support it would
disappear virtually overnight.”

With little more than two months before the normal scheduled departure
of the Japanese Government-sponsored whaling fleet, the key message for
Kevin Rudd is that strong pressure must be applied now, before the
slaughter begins.

“Prime Minister Kevin Rudd should take advantage of this opportunity and
visit the new Japanese Prime Minister immediately, asking him to retire
this environmentally and economically bankrupt programme once and for
all,” said Mr Suzuki.

Note to editors
Toru Suzuki will present a free public talk: ‘What will end whaling – An
insider’s view’ tonight at Parliament House Theatre, Parliament House
from 6-8pm hosted by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert. MPs from both major
parties will be attending. 

Media enquiries:
Zoe Porter, Greenpeace media officer  0409 048 260
Reece Turner, Greenpeace whales campaigner 0408 754 910

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