Following a unanimous vote, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) submitted a formal Oral Question to the European Commission and European Council today on a decision taken by the Japanese Fisheries Agency to resume whaling under a 12-year plan.

Japan's plan allows the killing of 333 minke whales in the 2015-2016 period, and a total of nearly 4,000 whales during the whole 12-year period.

The International Whaling Commission was notified of Japan's decision to resume whaling, but did not react. In this context, the ENVI Committee asked the European Commission and European Council to officially condemn Japan and to consider other means of seeking justice including the possibility of taking the Japanese state to the international court again.

“The European Union does not support whale hunting. Most of the people in the EU do not support whale hunting. We can’t allow a new trade agreement between the EU and Japan until the whaling stops. Let’s stop the slaughter permanently. I call on the EU to use its power to put pressure on Japan”, urged ENVI member and German MEP, Stefan Eck.

Eck underlined that “by resuming whaling, Japan is ignoring the ruling of the International Court of Justice, which ordered, in its judgment of March 31 2014, the halting of Japan’s annual slaughter of whales in the Southern Ocean. The Court concluded that the hunts are not – as Japan claims – conducted for scientific research. These hunts are in breach of international law and undermine the protection of biodiversity and marine ecosystems. Furthermore, scientific research no longer requires the slaughtering of whales”.

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