Weekly Media FAQ

January 25, 2008

Whaling Issue: Australian Trade Minister's Visit to Japan

Q: Minister for Trade Simon Crean of Australia visited Japan from January 20 to 24. During his meeting with Foreign Minister Koumura, was the issue of whaling raised?

A: Foreign Minister Koumura and Trade Minister Crean discussed the whaling issue as one of several bilateral and general issues, including Japan-Australia EPA negotiations, the WTO Doha Round, and countermeasures against the spread of counterfeit and pirated goods, as well as the regional issues of APEC and climate change.

Foreign Minister Koumura stressed that the act of sabotage committed by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was unacceptable and hazardous. The foreign minister requested cooperation of the Australian side to prevent a recurrence of such an act of sabotage. He also requested the Australian government to take appropriate measures in accordance with its domestic law when the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessel makes a port call in Australia.

In response, Trade Minister Crean stated that although Australia is not the flag state of the Sea Shepherd's vessel, Australia has been urging the Sea Shepherd organization to practice self-restraint and that the incident was indeed regrettable. As for Australia's possible measures upon the Sea Shepherd's vessel port call there, the trade minister stated that the Australian Federal Police is now collecting relevant information and that the Australian side will consider measures based upon the results of this investigation.

Related Information (Japan-Australia Relaitons)

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