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Viewing cable 10TOKYO171, WHALING: GOJ NONCOMMITAL ON ENCOURAGING ICELAND TO

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10TOKYO171 2010-01-27 08:08 2011-01-01 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Tokyo
VZCZCXRO9040
OO RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #0171/01 0270845
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 270845Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8994
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING IMMEDIATE 2829
RUEHWN/AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN IMMEDIATE 0001
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE 2347
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA IMMEDIATE 3356
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 2521
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO IMMEDIATE 1301
RUEHRK/AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK IMMEDIATE 0222
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO IMMEDIATE 0006
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL IMMEDIATE 9501
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON IMMEDIATE 0023
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO IMMEDIATE 9021
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE IMMEDIATE 2341
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA IMMEDIATE 8525
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA IMMEDIATE 0866
RUCPDC/NOAA NMFS WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 000171

NOFORN
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/J AND OES/OA - LPHELPS
STATE PASS CEQ
USDOC FOR NOAA/NMFS - RWULFF
BRIDGETOWN FOR ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/26/2020
TAGS: EFIS KSCA PREL SENV IWC JA
SUBJECT: WHALING: GOJ NONCOMMITAL ON ENCOURAGING ICELAND TO
LOWER QUOTA

Classified By: EMIN Marc Wall, reasons 1.4 b and d

1. (C/NF) Summary: EMIN urged MOFA State Secretary Fukuyama
and Fisheries Agency Deputy Director General Yamashita to
press Iceland to lower its proposed quota for whaling in
order to facilitate an overall agreement on whaling. Both
Fukuyama and Yamashita said the GOJ is reluctant to take such
action. Fukuyama cited a lack of desire to raise the profile
of whaling to the political level, while Yamashita said Japan
could not use trade measures to stop the importation of whale
meat from Finland. EMIN made the case that the parties are
close to an agreement and Japan should advise Iceland to come
to the table with a reasonable offer. Yamashita the Sea
Shepherd's harassment of the Japanese whaling fleet could
limit domestic support for a compromise. End summary.

2. (SBU) EMIN met MOFA State Secretary Tetsuro Fukuyama
January 25 and Fisheries Agency of Japan Deputy Director
General Jun Yamashita January 26 to press the case for
Japan's help in reaching out to Iceland for cooperation in
the current round of negotiations in the International
Whaling Commission (IWC). In his meeting with Fukuyama, EMIN
thanked Fukuyama for Japan's constructive engagement in the
talks and asked for Japan's help to encourage Iceland to
reduce its proposed quota for whaling in the North Atlantic.
Fukuyama said he understands that Iceland has taken a tough
stance in the negotiations, but implied that his options are
limited.

3. (C/NF) Fukuyama said the whaling issue has not been a
political issue in Japan, a situation he would like to avoid.
If the GOJ moves forward on the issue too quickly, he added,
it will create a domestic political problem for the ruling
Democratic Party of Japan. He sees the situation as a Catch
22: it may not be possible to resolve the whaling issue
without taking it to a political level, but doing so could
create an adverse reaction for the DPJ.

4. (SBU) EMIN replied that Iceland's proposed take of fin
whales is predicated on exporting to Japan, and its catch
quota is far in excess of what the Japanese market could
absorb. If Japan and the U.S. work to encourage both sides
in the whaling debate to take reasonable approaches there
will be an opportunity for a breakthrough. Fukuyama said
that while his sense is that it will be difficult for Japan
to approach Iceland, he will examine Iceland's position and
the market for imported whale meat.

5. (SBU) In his meeting with Fisheries Agency Deputy
Director General Yamashita, EMIN again made the case for a
GOJ intervention with Iceland. Yamashita argued that trade
measures against Iceland are not appropriate since trade in
whale meat between the two countries is not prohibited under
either CITES or IWC rules. (Note: EMIN did not recommend
Japan take any measures to restrict trade. End note) EMIN
countered that the issue at hand is concluding an agreement.
A message from Japan to Iceland that its proposed catch far
exceeds what the Japanese market can absorb could bring them
around. Yamashita said the U.S. and Japan need to come up
with other measures beside trade to influence Iceland, but
that he has no ideas at the moment. Yamashita was glad to
hear of U.S. "support" for Japan's proposal to reduce its
catch. EMIN said rather Japan's offer is something we can
work with, and we would like to see the same out of Iceland.

6. (C/NF) Turning to harassment of the Japanese whaling
fleet by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS),
Yamashita said the NGO's actions have kept the fleet from
reaching its quota the last few years. Yamashita said the
GOJ would come under pressure domestically if SSCS harassment

TOKYO 00000171 002 OF 002


continues to keep Japanese whalers from filling their quota
after an agreement on reduced numbers is reached within the
IWC. EMIN said the USG is concerned about the safety of life
at sea and is looking at the activity of the SSCS.
ROOS

EPET @ EL PAÍS