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Viewing cable 09TOKYO2588, JAPAN RECEPTIVE TO FURTHER ENGAGEMENT ON WHALING

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TOKYO2588 2009-11-09 06:06 2011-01-01 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Tokyo
VZCZCXRO2770
OO RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2588/01 3130628
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 090628Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7397
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING IMMEDIATE 1753
RUEHWN/AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN IMMEDIATE 0131
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE 2343
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA IMMEDIATE 3311
RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN IMMEDIATE 0607
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 2498
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO IMMEDIATE 1295
RUEHRK/AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK IMMEDIATE 0219
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL IMMEDIATE 8419
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON IMMEDIATE 0007
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA IMMEDIATE 7316
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA IMMEDIATE 9670
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE IMMEDIATE 1135
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO IMMEDIATE 7834
RUCPDC/NOAA NMFS WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 002588

NOFORN
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/J AND OES/OA - LPHELPS
STATE PASS CEQ
USDOC FOR NOAA/NMFS - RWULFF
BRIDGETOWN FOR ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/11/2019
TAGS: EFIS KSCA PREL SENV IWC JA
SUBJECT: JAPAN RECEPTIVE TO FURTHER ENGAGEMENT ON WHALING

Classified By: DCM James P. Zumwalt, reasons 1.4 b and d

1. (C/NF) Summary: U.S. representative to the International
Whaling Commission (IWC) Monica Medina met with senior
officials from the Fisheries Agency of Japan (FAJ) November 4
to discuss progress in negotiations under the Future of the
IWC process. The FAJ Director General described the results
of recent talks in Santiago as a "major step forward" and
said political level consultations on whaling are necessary
following the recent change in administration in Japan. He
defended Japan's proposal to base future reductions in
numbers on current catch quotas rather than the actual number
of whales taken in past years. He added that Australia's
proposal to phase out research whaling is a non-starter for
Japan. He said a successful outcome in the vote on
Greenland's proposal to take humpback whales and action by
the U.S. and others on Japan's complaints against the Sea
Shepherd Conservation Society would positively influence
Japan's negotiating position in the Future of the IWC
process. Ms. Medina said the USG is looking for creative
solutions to the remaining issues facing the IWC and positive
mention at the upcoming U.S.-Japan summit of both sides'
commitment to finding a solution on whaling would be a good
signal. End summary.

2. (C/NF) Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for
Oceans and Atmosphere and U.S. representative to the
International Whaling Commission Monica Medina met with
senior Fisheries Agency of Japan officials to discuss the
Future of the IWC process November 4 in Tokyo. In a morning
meeting with Ms. Medina, Fisheries Agency of Japan Director
General Machida said that while he expects difficult
negotiations ahead, he wants the Future of the IWC process to
succeed. According to Machida, political level consultations
on whaling are necessary following the recent change in
administration in Japan. However, he cautioned the new
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) administration shares the
same fundamental position on whaling as the outgoing Liberal
Democratic Party, including support for the resumption of
commercial whaling and continued research whaling. He added
that the two sides should not rush through the negotiations,
which could end up making it more difficult to reach
consensus at next June's IWC annual meeting.

3. (C/NF) Ms. Medina said the USG understands there is no
fundamental change in the GOJ position on whaling, but that
the USG is looking for creative solutions to move the IWC
forward as opposed to fundamental change. She added that the
U.S. is committed to finding a solution over the next two to
three months. She said she would advocate for including
language on whaling in a summit statement following the
meeting between the President and Prime Minister November 13.
The statement would express the desire of both countries to
work out remaining differences on whaling. Once negotiators
have narrowed the issues, both sides could seek a political
solution, she added.

4. (C/NF) Machida described the progress at the Support
Group meeting in Santiago as a major step forward. However,
he said there remain two major issues that need to be
addressed. First, there is still no consensus on the
proposals raised in Santiago even among the Support Group
members, let alone the entire IWC. Second, the upper limit
on catch quotas, especially a reduction in the limit for
Japan's research whaling in the Southern Ocean, have yet to
be negotiated. Regarding Japan's catch numbers, Machida said
Australia's proposal to phase out research whaling is a
non-starter for the GOJ. He added that the baseline for any
reduction in Japan's research whaling should be the catch
quota figures and not the actual number of whales caught.


TOKYO 00002588 002 OF 002


5. (C/NF) Ms. Medina replied that the catch quotas is the
most important outstanding issue. She said the Santiago
proposal calls for an overall reduction in catch numbers from
all whaling nations over a ten year period, which would help
in securing approval from Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.
She said given the history of Japan's research whaling, and
the increase in quota numbers in recent years, there is room
for Japan to cut from the actual number of whales taken. A
symbolic action by Japan, such as agreeing not to take fin
whales this year, would be a good indicator to the rest of
the IWC of Japan's commitment to reaching a solution. The
USG would then work hard to make sure the EU and Australia do
not block a compromise.

6. (C/NF) Machida said there are two factors outside the
current Future of the IWC negotiations that influence Japan's
negotiating position. First, a negative outcome in the vote
at next year's IWC intersessional meeting on Greenland's
proposal to catch ten humpback whales could derail the work
of the Support Group. Greenland's proposal has the backing
of the IWC's Scientific Committee and another rejection at
the IWC plenary meeting could make the overall compromise
being discussed impossible. Second, the violent protests by
the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) could limit the
GOJ's flexibility in the negotiations. He said the
Netherlands should have primary responsibly for taking action
against the SSCS, but he appreciates the USG initiative to
address the group's tax exempt status. He said action on the
SSCS would be a major element for Japan in the success of the
overall negotiations. Ms. Medina replied that she hopes to
work out differences with the EU on Greenland's proposal on
humpback whales prior to the March 2010 IWC intersessional
meeting and include the issue in the overall agreement.
Regarding the SSCS, she said she believes the USG can
demonstrate the group does not deserve tax exempt status
based on their aggressive and harmful actions.

7. (U) Ms. Medina cleared this cable subsequent to departing
Tokyo.
ROOS