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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 9, 1996


On December 11, 1995, Secretary of Commerce Ronald Brown certified under section 8 of the Fishermen's Protective Act of 1967, as amended (the "Pelly Amendment") (22 U.S.C. 1978), that Japan has conducted research whaling activities that diminish the effectiveness of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) conservation program. This message constitutes my report to the Congress pursuant to subsection (b) of the Pelly Amendment.

The certification of the Secretary of Commerce was based on Japanese research whaling activities in both the North Pacific and the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. In 1994, Japan expanded its research whaling activities into the North Pacific by permitting the taking of 100 minke whales, 21 of which were taken. The IWC found that this North Pacific whaling failed to satisfy applicable criteria for lethal research and was therefore inconsistent with the IWC's conservation program. Nevertheless, Japan continued its whaling activities in the North Pacific, taking 100 minke whales in 1995. In addition, during 1995, Japan increased the number of minke whales to be harvested in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary by 33 percent, despite a 1994 finding by the IWC that this lethal research program did not meet all applicable criteria.

In his letter to me of December 11, 1995, Secretary Brown conveyed his concerns not only over the whales that have been killed in this program to date but also over any further expansion of lethal research. While noting that the Japanese have informed us they have no plans for a further expansion of lethal research in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, he expressed particular concern over whaling activity in that area. I share these concerns.

At this stage, I do not believe that the use of trade sanctions is the most constructive approach to resolving our differences over research whaling activities with the Government of Japan. However, I have instructed the Department of State to convey my very strong concerns to the Government of Japan. We will also vigorously pursue high-level efforts to persuade Japan to reduce the number of whales killed in its research program and act consistently with the IWC conservation program. We hope to achieve significant progress on these issues by the beginning of the next Antarctic whaling season and will keep these issues under review. I have instructed the Department of Commerce to continue to monitor closely Japan's research whaling and to report promptly on any further inconsistencies between Japanese whaling activities and the guidelines of the IWC conservation program.



February 9, 1996.

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