VICTORY OVER JAPANESE WHALERS

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VICTORY OVER JAPANESE WHALERS

 user 2006-04-06 at 11:18:00 am Views: 49
  • #15269

    Victory’ over Japanese whalers
    Environmentalists
    in Japan are claiming a rare victory after five key private companies
    quit the whaling business following a pressure campaign.

    The
    firms said they will transfer their shares in the country’s largest
    whaling fleet to public interest corporations.Greenpeace claims it is
    global pressure from consumers that has forced the financial backers to
    pull out.But the companies deny this and Japan’s government says the
    transfer of shares will not affect its policies.
    The companies own
    shares in a firm which operates seven of the eight ships in Japan’s
    whaling fleet.The new shareholders will include the Japanese government
    agency that promotes whaling. On the face of it this will not change
    much.The Japanese fleet will continue to hunt for whales. But
    environmentalists insist this is a victory.
    Pressure point
    One of the private firms that is dumping its shares is a huge Japanese fishing company called Nissui.
    Three
    months ago campaigners in Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and the
    United States began to put pressure on its subsidiaries, protesting
    against the parent company’s connection with whaling.
    Although
    Nissui like the other four firms says the campaign has nothing to do
    with its decision to pull out of the business, a statement from one of
    its subsidiaries expressed hope that it would shift the demonstrators’
    focus from the company.Greenpeace activists, who harassed the Japanese
    whaling fleet earlier this year, said they had taken the fight from the
    high seas to the supermarket shelves.Japan insists that efforts to hunt
    whales will be redoubled. From now on, whaling will be seen as
    something backed by the whole of Japan, not just private firms, an
    official said.