Greens on FTA with Japan

Big Pond News | December 16, 2009

Greens on FTA with Japan

The Greens say unless Japan stops whaling in the Southern Ocean Australia should not agree to a FTA.

Australia should not agree to a free trade agreement (FTA) with Japan unless the Asian nation stops whaling in the Southern Ocean, the Australian Greens say.

Greens senator Rachel Siewert said holding out on an FTA was one of the only options left to Australia to help bring an end to the annual whale hunt, which Japan says is part of a scientific research program.

’Probably nothing else will get the Japanese prime minister’s attention more than linking our concern and our desire to end whaling in Antarctica immediately with negotiations over the free trade agreement,’ she told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

Senator Siewert said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd needed to make good on his threat to take the Japanese to an international court if it refused to give up its annual whale catch in the Southern Ocean.

She said Australia could use the Antarctic Treaty System, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea or the International Court of Justice to take action against the Japanese.

’There would be then compelling international requirements for them to stop (whaling),’ Senator Siewert said.

source: Big Pond News