About two-thirds of the countries attending the Tokyo meeting have received Japanese fisheries aid totaling 56.4 billion yen (£240m) since 1994 and voted with Tokyo in St Kitts, campaigners said.Attendees today denied claims that their support could be bought. “We are not a whale-hunting country, but the matter of resources within our sea is very important to us,” Cedric Liburd, the fisheries minister of St Christopher-Nevis, told the Associated Press. “No country can buy our vote.”… from Guardian Unlimited Japan Hosts Pro-Whaling Meeting As Clashes Continue At Sea
Some time ago, BFP reader “M” sent us some material on what amounted to an attempt by St. Kitts & Nevis to bring Barbados and other Caribbean countries onside to support Japanese whaling.
M – sorry friend, but in the normal routine your email just kept getting further down the page until it faded from memory.
Nevermind our inability to keep up with emails and suggested stories, we think that the issue is important to BFP readers not only from the environmental aspect, but also because it highlights something about the workings of international politics. St. Kitts / Nevis doesn’t give a darn anymore about whaling from an economic standpoint – so the Japanese have made a side-deal. That’s M’s thoughts and ours as well.
Here’s what M wrote to us…
Esteemed Folks – You did not take me on when I previously suggested the attempt by St Kitts/Nevis to get the rest of the Caribbean to support whaling was reprehensible, and deserved some adverse attention.
A minister of St Kitts was featured on BBC news today again defending his country’s right to join the International Whaling Conference and lobby support for Japan;s move to drop the ban on whaling. This even though there is no whaling in St Kitts waters any more.
This is patently a tit for tat for the handouts St Kitts has received from the Japanese Government. I do not approve of calling our PM a pimp, but in this case, St Kitts’ stand fits the bill.
From GreenPeace (link here)
Japan’s whaling commission scam
Japan is gaining allies by recruiting new countries into the commission which then vote with Japan and help them gain their objective of resumed commercial whaling. This recruitment process involves offering fisheries aid to poor coastal countries in exchange for their support for Japan’s whaling policies.
Japan has secured the help of eight nations at the IWC in this way: six eastern Caribbean states, (Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis), the Solomon Islands and most recently Guinea. All of these countries regularly attend IWC meetings and speak in favour of a resumption of commercial whaling, voting with Japan on all occasions.
As a result of this strategy Japan has already assembled a blocking minority within the IWC. Last year this minority prevented the creation of a South Pacific Whale Sanctuary (SPWS), largely due to the votes cast against the proposal by Japan and the eastern Caribbean countries.
Greenpeace believes it is unnecessary and unwise to allow a resumption of purely commercial whaling. It brings no conservation benefits to whales and does nothing to assist the recovery of whale populations, which were depleted by commercial whaling and remain depleted.
Japan has also invested heavily in a public relations offensive designed to convince the public that whaling is culturally and economically important to Japan, and that whales eat too many fish and threaten the conservation of fish stocks – a claim for which there is no scientific basis.
Whale meat is a luxury food in Japan. An opinion poll conducted in 1999 showed that only 11 percent of Japanese adults support whaling, with a similar number of 14 percent of Japanese adults opposing it.
If the present trend goes unchecked, the IWC will once again sanction commercial whaling, putting the world’s remaining whales at risk.
… from GreenPeace (link here)