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Viewing cable 09STATE117709, WHALING: REQUEST FOR POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09STATE117709 2009-11-14 00:12 2011-01-01 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Secretary of State
VZCZCXRO8083
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNH
DE RUEHC #7709/01 3180234
ZNY CCCCC ZZH ZDS
P 140005Z NOV 09
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 1256-1257
INFO RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 5779-5780
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON PRIORITY 0601-0602
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA PRIORITY 0993-0994
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA PRIORITY 1175-1176
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE PRIORITY 3716-3717
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO PRIORITY 0873-0874
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 STATE 117709

NOFORN

SIPDIS

C O R R E C T E D COPY CAPTION

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/12/2019
TAGS: EFIS PREL SENV KSCA IWC JA
SUBJECT: WHALING: REQUEST FOR POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT

STATE 00117709 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: DAS David A. Balton, reasons 1.4(b) and (d)

Summary:

1. (C/NF) This is an action request. See paragraph 3. Post
is requested to discuss with State Secretary for Foreign
Affairs Tetsuro Fukuyama the potential for reaching a
political agreement regarding Japan's whaling practices.

Background:

2. (C) Department of Commerce Principal Deputy
Undersecretary for Oceans and Atmosphere Monica Medina
traveled to Tokyo to meet with GOJ officials November 3-5.
At a private meeting with State Secretary Tetsuro Fukuyama,
Ms. Medina requested political commitment from the new
leadership in Japan to work with the United States to
transform the International Whaling Commission so that it can
better accomplish its objectives to conserve whales and
manage whale stocks. In particular, the Governments of Japan
and the United States would work towards reaching an
understanding regarding a way forward for the International
Whaling Commission that would include a meaningful reduction
in Japan's current whaling levels and U.S. support for
international approval of sustainable small-type coastal
whaling activities off the coast of Japan. In addition, the
GOJ would no longer hunt fin or humpback whales in the
Southern Ocean, and the United States would uphold domestic
and international laws to ensure safety at sea and encourage
other governments to do the same. Ms. Medina provided a
draft statement outlining these objectives to Post.

Action Request:

3. (U) Post, at the highest possible level, is requested to
discuss reform of the IWC with State Secretary Fukuyama and
other political appointees within the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs or Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries
in a position to influence the GOJ's actions on this topic.
Post may draw upon the following talking points during these
discussions:

- The International Whaling Commission (IWC) has not
functioned effectively for many years due to the polarized
views of its members. Previous efforts to resolve conflicts
within the organization have not succeeded.

- The conflicts have at times become an irritant in the
relations among the nations concerned, including the United
States and Japan. They have also undermined whale
conservation and management by the IWC.

- The new administrations in Japan and the United States have
a unique opportunity to chart a different course for the IWC,
and resolve our long-standing disagreements through
fundamental reform of the IWC. This is a small issue but it
is important to the Obama Administration that it be resolved
quickly.

- Most recently, a small Support Group of IWC member nations,
including Japan and the United States, met in October 2009 in
Santiago, Chile. The United States is pleased by the
significant progress made toward a possible interim agreement
that would set overall whale catches at a reduced level while
longer term negotiations continue. We nevertheless recognize
that work needs to be done to bridge remaining differences on
a key issue.

- Although all IWC members will ultimately share
responsibility for the success or failure of this process,
the approach taken by Japan in the immediate future will have
a major impact on the likelihood of success.

- The United States strongly urges Japan to join with other
IWC members who have shown willingness to compromise in the
short term in order to reach the long-term goal of a
normalized IWC.


STATE 00117709 002.2 OF 002


- We fully appreciate that, for these negotiations to be
concluded successfully, all participants will need to show
maximum flexibility. If agreement on some reduction in
Japan's catch levels can be reached, the United States
believes that an overall interim agreement would be within
reach.

- The United States stands ready to work with Japan and all
other IWC members toward such an interim agreement. We
understand that there is an important related issue regarding
safety at sea of the Japanese research vessels that must also
be addressed.

4. (U) The Department thanks Embassy Tokyo in advance for
its cooperation on this matter. Additionally, the Department
wishes to thank Embassy Tokyo for the assistance and time
provided to Ms. Medina during her recent visit to Tokyo,
particularly in light of the upcoming Presidential visit.
The Department's point of contact on this matter is Ms.
Elizabeth Phelps, reachable at 202-647-0241 or via email at
phelpse@state.gov.
CLINTON