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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesman

NEWS RELEASE July 31, 2000

Statement By Philip T. Reeker Deputy Spokesman


The government of Japan informed the United States on July 28 of its intention to begin an expanded scientific whaling program in the North Pacific on July 29. The United States is strongly opposed to this program.

The new Japanese whaling program will include two new whale species, sperm and Bryde's whales. Both species are protected under the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act and sperm whales are listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. No nation has taken these whale species since 1987, the year after the implementation of the international ban on commercial whaling.

The United States has forcefully expressed its opposition to this new program at the highest level. United States policy has consistently opposed all commercial whaling and has favored non-lethal forms of scientific research on whales. In July, following scientific review, the International Whaling Commission passed a resolution urging Japan to refrain from undertaking this program.

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