Commercial Whaling Makes a Comeback
It is amazing how much effort has been expended in countries like Japan and Australia to argue about whaling. It is fascinating from say, a realist perspective, since it is hard to imagine that either side has any real meaningful national interest. And as far as I can tell, Australia’s government is acting on essentially moral grounds, which is er, unusual to say the least.
Japan is ready for them, though. In fact, they have apparently maneuvered the International Whaling Commission to consider lifting the ban on commercial whaling. They may even have the votes. And if they don’t, it is not clear to me why Japan could not simply withdraw from the IWC and start commercial whaling. The International Whaling Convention (see Article XI) certainly doesn’t prevent a withdrawal and I am not aware of what other legal obligations regulate whaling in international waters. The question for Australia, then, is whether it is worth trading the continuation of the IWC regime for the acceptance of commercial whaling. This seems problematic as a matter of domestic Australian politics, although it seems like a fair compromise.