Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key at Villa Maria Winery meet with English students from a new edu-sport programme on July 7, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images
It is reported that Mr Key had reason to believe that Japan would be ignoring the ruling of the International Criminal Court prohibiting commercial whaling and would be taking up the annual practice by making use of loop holes in the ruling.
New Zealand supported the Australian government’s appeal to the ICJ which stated that whaling permits for Japan’s whaling program in the Southern Ocean should be stopped. The Australians successfully argued that Japan was not keeping to the International Whaling Convention’s specifications dictating the requirements of a research based program.
The ruling found that Japan was transgressing the specifications of whaling for scientific research and in March this year imposed a whaling prohibition on Japan.
“I certainly expressed the real concern that New Zealanders have about whaling and the effect of the ICJ decision,” Key said during a press conference during Mr Abe’s visit.
“The very strong position is that they want to see the end of all whaling, scientific or otherwise.”
Speaking through an interpreter Mr Abe said that the Japanese people were disappointed with the ruling by the ICJ but their government would nevertheless respect the ruling.