Japan gained a majority at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) for the first time in 20 years.
Japan passed a resolution saying the the Whaling moratorium was no longer necessary by 33 votes to 32. Included in that 33 is the Solomon Islands where Australia and New Zealand both have large contigents of troops restoring the governments authority, and land-locked Mongolia and Mali, full list below.
All is not lost - for Japan to re-start commercial whaling, they would need a 75% majority. this resolution basically says that the commission (world) will turn a blind eye, by saying that whaling isn't wrong.
I think the Japanese need to be shown an economic argument - such as the amount of money that could be made through tourism etc.
Full voting as follows
(NZ and Japan are first in each list so you can pick the goodies from the baddies easily!)
JAPAN, Antigua and Barbuda, Benin, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Denmark, Dominica, Gabon, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Iceland, Kiribati, South Korea, Mali, Marshall Isl, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Nauru, Nicaragua, Norway, Palau, Russia, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & Grenadines, Senegal, Solomon Isl, Suriname, Togo, Tuvalu.
NEW ZEALAND, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Czech Rep, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Oman, Panama, Peru, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America.
China, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Kenya.
Just a glance at those lists makes you realise its basically two groups - Whaling nations (Japan, Iceland, Noway Denmark) and the third world, versus the developed world. With all due respect, who has heard of Suriname?? Japan has poured aid into these countries (estimated $400m) and got them to join the commission, and vote for their outrageous resolutions.
PS. On the bright side, Japan did lose the vote to be able to hunt Dolphins and Seals - "for science".