Asahi and Mainichi wrote that the standing committee for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, also known as CITES or the Washington Convention, agreed at its meeting in Geneva on Monday on the recommendation to Japan to accept a fact-finding mission on Japan’s hunting of sei whales in the North Atlantic. During the meeting, representatives of the United States and other nations argued that Japan’s whaling is for commercial purposes and thus violates convention rules, but Japan countered by saying that it is for scientific purposes. However, the GOJ will likely accept the recommendation. The CITES secretariat will probably send a mission to Japan by October 2018. Pointing out that this was the first time for Japan’s catch of sei whales to be an official item on the CITES agenda,
the paper wrote that the international community is becoming increasingly critical of Japan’s whaling.
In a related story, Asahi wrote that the Australian branch of the environmental activist group Sea Shepherd posted on Tuesday on its website a video of Japan’s whaling in the Southern Ocean in 2008 that was filmed by the Australian government. Sea Shepherd issued a statement criticizing the Australian government for long suppressing the footage out of concern for diplomatic relations with Japan.