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Australia must do more to stop whaling: Greens

(Xinhua)

09:39, October 02, 2011

CANBERRA, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- Following reports that Japan will soon start this season's whale hunt in the Antarctic, Australian Greens leader Bob Brown on Saturday said Australia must do more to stop whaling.

Japanese newspaper Yomiuri earlier reported Japan's research whaling hunt will go ahead later this year, and it suggested the Japanese government will boost the whaling budget by about 26 million U.S. dollars.

Senator Brown claimed that Australia has not done enough to stop the practice and he will raise the matter with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd.

"Australia should have a naval presence down there, it should be having footage of what's happening with the whales to give to the rest of the world, it should be raising the diplomatic objections both in Japan and elsewhere round the world," he said in a statement released on Saturday. "As ever the Greens will be pursuing this in the Senate where both the big parties always back off."

He said the reported decision of Japan to boost the whaling budget on killing whales must rate as one of the most stupid public relations decisions of any equivalent nation in recent times.

"It is 26 million U.S. dollars wasted on defending the indefensible," Senator Brown said.

"The question the world will ask is why not put this money into cleaning up the other great environmental disaster -- the Fukushima nuclear complex."

"As the world celebrates a hundred years since Amundsen got to the South Pole, it will also condemn Japan sending grenade tipped harpoons down south to turn the Antarctica sea red," he said.

In a move to put an end to Japan's whaling program in the Southern Ocean, Australia in May lodged a written submission with the International Court of Justice to argue Japan's whaling activities have breached international obligations. Japan must file its counter-memorial to the International Court of Justice by March 9 next year.


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