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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

November 30, 2015 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER: The anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd (SS) has condemned Japan’s plans to resume research whaling in the Antarctic Ocean, saying that it is a criminal act. SS is calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia to request the Government of Japan to ensure that its research fleet does not head to the Antarctic Ocean. SS has declared that it would undertake an anti-poaching campaign in the Antarctic Ocean, and has said that it plans to dispatch a protest ship. Can you share your opinions on how this will impact Japan’s research whaling at the site?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, SS’s illegal sabotage against Japan’s whaling research vessels could threaten the lives of the personnel onboard. In this regard, the acts undermine maritime security and are extremely regrettable. Therefore, for the upcoming research, relevant ministries and agencies will be coordinating to implement safety measures. We are establishing a structure to take all possible measures to ensure the safety of the vessels, personnel onboard, and crew affiliated with the whaling research, including by dispatching patrol vessels of the Fisheries Agency, strengthening self-defense measures, and reaching out to relevant countries.

REPORTER: At the same time, as regards a different matter, we are hearing that this year SS again dispatched activists to Taiji Town, Wakayama Prefecture where dolphin drive fishing is being conducted, and that they continue to harass local fishermen. How does the Government view this situation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We consider that the so-called dolphin drive fishing is sustainable fishing that is being implemented under proper management with the permission of the Governor of Wakayama Prefecture, based on scientific grounds and in accordance with the catch quota that the Government has established. The Government will continue to provide careful explanations regarding the promotion of sustainable uses of marine biological resources, including dolphins and whales, based on scientific grounds.

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