Target: Koichi Yamamoto, Japan’s Minister of the Environment
Goal: Halt Japan’s plan to kill sei whales for research purposes.
Despite a moratorium on commercial whaling, Japan continues to kill endangered sei whales for “research purposes.” The Japanese government has planned to capture roughly 314 whales per year for 12 years beginning in 2017. This proposal would see about 100 more whales taken by the country than in recent years. While the Japanese government claims that this quota is based on science, there has been little to no evidence to support their claims.
Additionally, the Japanese commissioner to the International Whaling Commission (IWC), Joji Morishita, recently pleaded for the allowance of a “small quota” of whales for local consumption, citing the supposed cultural importance of whaling to the Japanese. However, both the U.S. and the European Union’s IWC commissioners have spoken out against his request, stating that no country should be engaging in commercial whaling at this time.
Urgent conservation efforts have restored the once-critically endangered species to a third of its original population, but it must continue to be protected in order to make a full comeback. Demand that Japan do its part to protect the sei whale by signing below.
Dear Minister Yamamoto,
I demand that you urge your government to discontinue its whaling research program — particularly that portion of the program targeting the endangered sei whale. Your government plans to begin its research whaling before March 2018, despite a response from the International Court of Justice deeming its scientific whaling expeditions in the Antarctic Ocean as unscientific. Japan must not continue to misuse the “scientific whaling” provision of the global ban of commercial whaling as a ruse for selling whale meat.
Furthermore, I ask that you reprimand Japan’s IWC commissioner, Joji Morishita, for requesting permission to hunt a certain quota of whales for local consumption. This request is highly irresponsible and must not be condoned.
The future of the sei whale is largely dependent on Japan’s next steps. Please urge the Japanese government to strive to protect the sei whale rather than endanger its species further.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Christin Khan