Thursday, 12 January 2012

Is the Japanese whaling fleet refusing to obey a lawful direction to leave Australian territorial waters?

Since at least 11 January 2012
the Government of Japan-sponsored whaling fleet operating in the Southern Ocean has failed to obey a lawful direction of the Federal Government to quit Australian territorial waters surrounding World Heritage listed Macquarie Island - which also form part of the Australian Whale Sanctuary and the wider International Whaling Commission-endorsed Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

One has to wonder why the Japanese Government imagines it has a right to ignore Australia's sovereignty in this manner.

Should it continue this intransigence then the Federal Government would be well within its rights to withdraw the credentials of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan, His Excellency Mr Shigekazu Sato.

The Sydney Morning Herald 12 January 2012:

A JAPANESE whaling ship has defied high-level Australian complaints to stay in the waters of World Heritage-listed Macquarie Island.
The harpoon-equipped whale hunter Yushin Maru No.3 was still there late yesterday, hours after the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, said the ship was leaving.
''I'm aware that there has been one vessel which I'm advised has been in Australian territorial waters and I'll advise that it will leave Australian territorial waters,'' Ms Gillard said.
The Australian embassy told the Japanese government on Tuesday that whaling vessels were not welcome in the country's waters, repeating earlier complaints.
But the Japanese ship was photographed yesterday within a few miles of the coast of Macquarie Island, which is part of the state of Tasmania……
ANU professor of international law Don Rothwell said if Yushin Maru No.3 was staying close to Macquarie Island it was violating the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea which would normally allow a ship to proceed though these waters.
''The actions of Yushin Maru No.3 are not consistent with the right of innocent passage,'' Professor Rothwell said.
The Greens leader, Bob Brown, said the ship's presence was illegal and called for a naval vessel to be sent there.

Yushin Maru No.3 stayed just off the coast of Macquarie Island yesterday.
Photo: Carolina A Castro/Sea Shepherd

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