Saturday, 6 July 2013

What Australia told the International Court of Justice concerning Japan's stockpile of refrigerated whale meat

International Court of Justice 28 June hearing in Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v. Japan: New Zealand intervening):

As recently as October 2012, the Director of the JFA openly admitted to a Japanese Parliamentary Subcommittee that maintaining its purportedly "scientific" whaling program in the Southern Ocean was necessary to perpetuate the market in minke whale meat. (Tab 108):
"Minke whale meat is prized because it is said to have a very good flavour and aroma when eaten as sashimi and the like . . .
 [T]he scientific whaling program in the Southern Ocean was necessary to achieve a stable supply of minke whale meat."....
As of January 2013, there were 4,355 tonnes of refrigerated whale meat in the market's distribution stock. That is a lot of refrigeration. To counter the decline in sales, the ICR has undertaken a number of new sales promotion activities……
The real reason for the Japanese Government's decision to reduce target catches is as simple as it is commercial - the sharp decrease in domestic demand for whale meat in Japan. The well-known Mr. Komatsu, the former head of the JFA, has confirmed in numerous public  statements that Japan's reduction in catches has been a deliberate strategy to keep the price of whale meat high. For example, he said in June 2010 that Japan had deliberately reduced its target catches - this is tab 110: "because of the stagnation of the sales of whale meat. Some government officer tried to think that if . . . the . . . supply would be down that may lead to a bit higher price of . . . the whale meat", which is a fairly good commercial tactic….
Japan's stockpile of frozen whale meat is four times greater today than it was 15 years ago.

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