Monday, June 14, 2010
The Palau Horizon reports that the Japanese government will sending an envoy to Palau this month to hold talks and explain to Palau government its current hunts of whale for research. Palau's President Johnson Toribiong had previously stated that his government wants to be consistent with its policies on the marine resources of the country and is reconsidering its position on whaling.
President Toribiong said that the Japanese Ambassador to Palau, Yoshiyuki Sadaoka, has informed him that a special envoy will be visiting Palau “to educate me on the Japanese policies and scientific research.” Earlier the president said that his government will review its current position on whaling to ensure the country does not contribute to the depletion and extinction of whales.
Palau is a member of the International Whaling Commission since 2002 and is one of the pro-whaling nations that supports Japan’s research program.
Australia, a donor country to Palau, has lodged a legal action in the International Court of Justice in the Netherlands to protest Japan’s whaling. Click here to read more about that case.
Japan is the largest donor to Palau after the United States. Palau had been a mandate to Japan under the League of Nations. The two countries have had a special relationship -- you might guess that just by looking at their two flags.
President Toribiong recently declared Palau as a shark sanctuary before the United Nations General Assembly. He says the country also needs to protect other marine species in Palau.
Hat tip to the East West Center