Is Japan Buying Whaling Votes With Prostitutes?

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REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Watch out Whale Wars, seems like Japan will do anything to end the 24-year moratorium on commercial whaling.

According to the a newspaper investigation by the The Sunday Times, Japanese officials bribed delegations from other countries with aid and prostitutes in return for their votes at the International Whaling Commission meeting next week in Morocco.  The six nations repotedly named in the investigation were Guinea, Ivory Coast, St. Kitts and Nevis, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati and Grenada.

The original moratorium was adopted in 1986 by governments opposed to commercial whaling.  According to the IWC  “The purpose of the Convention is to provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry.”

Japan is rumored to have the backing of 38 of the IWC’s 88 countries. It needs 75% of the votes for the proposal to actually go through.

IWC is a completely voluntary organization and not backed by any treaty.