Rudd set to shaft Australia's farmers

"We'll take Japan to court", says PM. This will have a major adverse impact in Japan. It will be seen as a loss of face. Japanese consumers are highly likely to stop buying farm products of Australian origin. Rudd should butt out of something that is none of his business. Once Australia is seen as a hostile nation by Japanese consumers, there will be no rebuilding of Australia's farm-products trade for a very long time. Japanese tourists are also important for Australian business and that could come to a grinding halt too

KEVIN Rudd has vowed to take Japan to the International Court of Justice if it doesn't agree by November to stop Antarctic whaling, but a behind-closed-doors deal could blow a big hole in his case before then. A proposed compromise in the International Whaling Commission that allowed Japan to continue so-called scientific whaling, on a more restricted basis, could wreck Australia's claim that the practice is illegal under international law.

The Prime Minister yesterday demanded Japan reduce its Antarctic research quota to zero, from this summer's maximum 985 whales. "If we don't get that as a diplomatic agreement, let me tell you, we'll be going to the International Court of Justice," Mr Rudd said. "Secondly, if we don't reach a landing point with the Japanese diplomatically, that action will occur well before the commencement of the next whaling season, which is this November, OK?"

The ICJ president until 2012 is Hisashi Owada, a former head of Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and father of Crown Princess Masako, wife of the heir to the Japanese throne.

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, who meets Mr Rudd in Sydney today, said last night he wanted to know exactly what yesterday's comments meant. "I would like to ask him directly what his real intention was from his comment," Mr Okada said. "However, I understand he addressed that comment with discretion, making the precondition `if we don't get that as (diplomatic) discussion', so I do not see a big difference."

Liberal environment spokesman Greg Hunt criticised the ultimatum for postponing beyond the federal election a promise Mr Rudd first made as opposition leader in 2007: "He made the promise; he hasn't kept it." However, the new pledge is more categorical than Mr Rudd's recent assurances the government would act unless there was diplomatic "progress" before the IWC's June annual meeting. Mr Rudd has been heavily criticised by voters over the unmet promise, and was again yesterday on the Seven Network's Sunrise program before making his surprise commitment.

The Japanese fleet is expected to continue hunting for another three weeks in Antarctic waters, a large area Australia claims as an exclusive economic zone.

Following a series of hazardous clashes with a Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessel, activist Peter Bethune leapt on to a Japanese vessel on Monday and is being taken to Tokyo for possible criminal charges.

Meanwhile, a "support group" of a dozen nations, including Australia and Japan, is trying to negotiate a compromise on the question that threatens the IWC's existence. The group is rumoured to be working privately on a deal limiting, but not halting, Antarctic scientific whaling and allowing commercial whaling in Japanese waters. Environmentalists and lawyers fear IWC acceptance of any scientific whaling as legitimate would be fatal for an international action based on illegality. The group's chairman is expected to report progress on Monday.

Environmental groups will ask Environment Minister Peter Garrett on Tuesday for an assurance Australia won't support any IWC compromise.


Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here


  1. I think the Japs will call dudd on his bluff and like the wanker he is, he'll back down or slither away or cause a distraction like, 'oh look, abbott in budgie smugglers'. Remember how many promises dudd has broken or fucked up, his word is worth less than dog crap.

  2. Interesting timing. Why did Krunt wait three years... till an election year... to finally do something about his glib promise? I doubt it's from any desire to save the whales... more a desire to make Abbott either follow suit or, as a normal person would do, abandon the planned court action.

    If he does the latter be sure Krunt will be saying in his deadly dull tones, "The current leader of the opposition... Tony Abbott for those of you who don't follow such things... hates whales. I would like to hear his position on cuddly puppies, no doubt he hates them too."

  3. He doesn't want to lose the green vote, knowing those dumb clucks, they'll buy his bs about saving the stupid whales. And in all honesty, who else are those morons going to give their vote to, bob brown? Like that fool can do anything apart from blow CO2 out of his ass.

    And you are right ar, he will try to deflect this onto Abbott, anything to get the attention off himself.

  4. It's started already:

    SMH headline - Opposition Evasive on Whaling Action.

    Unfortunately the comments window will not let me cut and paste a link...

  5. So, if our fearless leader irks the Japanes with his histrionics, to whom does that shove us closer?

    Won't it be wonderful when our only "friends" are in Beijing, PyongYang and Rangoon?

  6. Oh they're not friends Bruce, the Chinese have made it quite clear that they're merely entertained by the antics of their clever little monkey down under. He has zero influence on them.


All comments containing Chinese characters will not be published as I do not understand them