Australia pressures Japan on Whalint

Japan has since promised not to include humpback whales in its cull in Antarctica this season.

Mr Smith says the suspension is a positive step, but there is more work to be done.

"We will continue with the array of policy proposals that we announced during the week," he said.

"We will continue bilateral pressure on Japan, our bilateral diplomatic efforts to make the point to Japan that we want their so-called lethal scientific whaling to stop."

Mr Smith says he and the Japanese Foreign Minister discussed the importance of Australia and Japan’s strategic relationship being maintained despite a difference of opinion on the issue.

Whale watching industry

The Whale and Dolphin Watching Association of Australia has welcomed Japan’s move to suspend the killing of humpback whales, but says it will not be completely happy until the Japanese stop whaling altogether.

Whale and Dolphin Watching vice-president Brian Perry says there is no reason why the Japanese should continue with whaling of any sort.

"There’s no reason to go hunting whales, especially for research," he said.

"It’s a sham – everyone knows that there’s no research done, you don’t have to go out and kill 900 whales just to find out what whales are about.

"We probably know more about the whales than what the Japanese do, just by interacting with them."

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