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Whaling dominates Japan PM's New Zealand trip

Published on Jul 7, 2014 11:19 AM
 
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (left) speaks with his New Zealand counterpart John Key, as he holds a rugby ball at Villa Maria winery in Auckland on July 7, 2014. The thorny issue of whaling dominated Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe’s whistlestop trip to New Zealand on Monday, with Prime Minister John Key saying they had agreed to disagree on the matter. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

AUCKLAND (AFP) - The thorny issue of whaling dominated Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe’s whistlestop trip to New Zealand on Monday, with Prime Minister John Key saying they had agreed to disagree on the matter.

New Zealand and Australia hauled Japan before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over its “scientific” whaling programme in Antarctic waters, leading to the UN court ruling in April that it was a commercial venture and had no research value.

Mr Abe has since signalled that Japan intends to look at ways it can resume the annual Southern Ocean hunt without breaching the ICJ ruling, setting up a potentially awkward meeting with Mr Key on his one-day visit.

Mr Key said Mr Abe had confirmed the plan to resume whaling and reiterated New Zealand’s position that it wanted the harpooning to stop.

 
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