Visiting US Commerce Secretary Norman Mineta agreed on 10 January with Japanese Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Yoshio Yatsu that the two countries jointly propose a workshop at the Science Committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) on Japanâs so-called research whaling, Japanese and US officials said.
The two countries plan to make the proposal at the IWC annual meeting to be held in July in London so that the workshop can be held by the summer of 2002, a Japanese official said.
The US commerce secretary was quoted as telling Yatsu that Japanâs research whaling is not a bilateral issue between the United States and Japan, but an issue on which technical discussion should be carried out at the IWC.
Yatsu told Mineta that the Japanese government basically agrees to study ways of researching whales scientifically, the official said.
Yatsu was quoted as saying that killing whales is necessary to study their ages and stomach contents and that such research is valued by the IWCâs Science Committee. Yatsu also said putting on the market whale meat from such catches is mandated by an international rule on effective use of such meats.