Australian PM considers legal action as option against Japan whaling

14:00, December 14, 2009      

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Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Monday that legal action against Japan's alleged scientific whaling program is still an option to stop the controversial matter.

The whaling issue may arise when Rudd visits Tokyo on Tuesday en route to Copenhagen.

Before it came to office, Labor had signaled it was prepared to use the international courts to stop Japan but it has been slow to translate that threat into action.

Australia's preferred solution remained a diplomatic resolution, Rudd told Sky News on Monday.

"(But) I've said very clearly that if we don't find a way through, then of course there is one way to sort this out and that is through the appropriate international legal mechanism."

Rudd denied that Australia had failed to take action to bring about a halt in whaling, citing a range of measures the government had taken.

"We'd like to do this in a friendlier, diplomatic way but if it's not possible then as countries who are strong in democracy ... then there are other tribunals available to solve this," he said.

Japan's whaling fleet left last month for their annual pilgrimage to Antarctic waters to catch whales over the coming months.

Source: Xinhua
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