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Latin American nations urge Japan to stop whaling
by Staff Writers
Buenos Aires (AFP) Dec 7, 2011

Latin American members of the International Whaling Commission urged Japan on Wednesday to stop "scientific" whaling in Antarctic waters and to respect sanctuaries.

The countries stated "their firmest rejection" of plans to hunt whales, "including endangered species, in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary," a statement read.

Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay were the countries signing the statement.

Japan's whaling fleet left port Tuesday for this season's annual hunt in Antarctica, with Japan's coast guard saying it would deploy extra security to protect it from anti-whaling activists.

Commercial whaling has been banned worldwide since 1986, but Japan justifies its hunts as scientific research, while not hiding the fact that the whale meat is later sold in shops and restaurants.

The International Whaling Commission has banned all types of commercial whaling in the area of some 19.3 million square miles (50 million square kilometers) surrounding Antarctica.

Japan on Wednesday said it planned to use some of the public funds earmarked for quake and tsunami reconstruction to boost security for the annual whaling hunt.

In February, Japan cut short its hunt for the 2010-2011 season by one month after bagging only one fifth of its planned catch, blaming interference from the US-based environmental group Sea Shepherd.

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Japan whaling fleet off to Antarctica
Tokyo (AFP) Dec 6, 2011
Japan's whaling fleet left port Tuesday for the country's annual hunt in Antarctica, press pictures showed, with security measures beefed up amid simmering international protests. Three ships, led by the 720-tonne Yushin Maru, set sail from Shimonoseki in western Japan on a mission officially said to be for "scientific research", according to local media reports. In past years, a mother ... read more

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