Greens Healthy Oceans spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, is calling on Australia to put urgent diplomatic pressure on Japan after Japanese Government sources revealed they will withdraw from the International Whaling Commission in a bid to resume commercial whaling.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “This will be an extraordinary rogue move by Japan that slaps the rest of the international community, who actually uphold a strong commitment to rules-based international order, in the face.

“This goes far beyond Japan’s farce of hiding behind scientific research to slaughter hundreds of minke whales in the Antarctic. They will be taking this to a whole new, and disgusting, level if they allow the reintroduction of commercial whaling.

“Right now, Japanese whalers are not too far from Australia, slaughtering hundreds of whales in an Antarctic marine sanctuary, despite international condemnation and in breach of Australian law.

“Whether it’s in the Antarctic, in Australia, or even in Japan, commercial whaling should not be tolerated.

“I call on the Federal Government to take a united stand with the majority of Australians who oppose this barbaric slaughter, and make it clear to Japan that we do not support their withdrawal from the IWC or their decision to resume commercial whaling.”

Senator Whish-Wilson also echoed his recent calls for the Federal Government to send a customs vessel to the Southern Ocean, as promised prior to the 2013 election, given the Federal Government’s strong opposition to all forms of commercial and scientific whaling.