The Japan Times reports that the Japanese delegation to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Panama has effectively destroyed a proposal put forward by Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and Uruguay to declare the Southern Atlantic a no-kill zone for whales. The plan is a largely symbolic measure as no whaling takes place there currently. The voting was 38 countries for the sanctuary versus 21 voted against but under IWC rules proposals need to have 75 percent support for ratification. The paper quotes Jose Truda Palazzo, previously Brazil’s representative to the IWC, as blaming nations that receive Japanese aid for scuttling the proposal:
“You can’t really believe that Nauru or Tuvalu has an interest or has studied the sanctuary. They are voting because Japan tells them to.”
The meeting continues until 7 July.