Japan tells Australia to cool it in whaling spat
Feb 8, 2008, 16:22 GMT
Tokyo - Japan expressed regret Friday at the serious protests in Australia over the shooting of a whale cow and her calf by Japanese whalers.
'Japan will express its regret through a diplomatic channel as we see a comment (by an Australian minister) that appears not to be level-headed,' Fishing Minister Masatoshi Wakabayashi was quoted by Kyodo news agency as saying.
Wakabayashi was referring to the publication of pictures of the whale-killings by Australia and commentary by Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett on Thursday that the killings were sickening.
He said Australia should adopt a calmer attitude in the matter.
An Australian customs vessel took pictures of the Japanese whalers killing and dragging the mother and calf on board in the seas off Antarctica.
'I think it's explicitly clear from these images that this is indiscriminate killing of whales,' Garrett said.
Japan insists that the killings are for scientific purposes and within the regulations laid down by the International Whaling Commission.