Australia’s Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said he is confident that Japan will abide by whatever decision the International Court of Justice will come to in the whaling case that is expected to wrap up at The Hague in the next few days. Despite the controversial nature of the case, he believes both Japan and Australia will respect the decision of the ICJ, regardless of who be favored by the ruling.
He observed that both countries conducted robust defenses of their respective sides, as expected in litigation cases, especially one as controversial as this one. The strong feelings that have come out of the hearing have exposed “the issues that need to be determined,” Dreyfus added. But he also believes that Australia and Japan will continue to remain friends no matter what the outcome of the case. After hearing Japan’s final arguments, you would be hard pressed to believe that relations between the two countries would go back to normal. Japan’s counsel Payam Akhavan told the court that Australia’s accusations against Japan are an “affront to the dignity of a nation” and should not be taken lightly.
Australia has called Japan’s use of “scientific research” as a front for commercial whaling, to get around the international moratorium set by the International Whaling Commission. They are asking the ICJ to put a stop to their yearly expeditions that have already killed more than 10,000 whales since the ban has taken effect. The 16-member ICJ court will be issuing a ruling later this year, and Dreyfus hopes that they will issue it before the start of the next hunting expedition at the end of the year.
[ via MSN ]