Before that development, Alex Higgins of Bring on the Revolution had already written about the probable resumption of whaling in his most recent post. (I reproduce the whole item here because I can't link directly to it.)
Whales are once again under threat from rogue states – the states in question being Japan, Iceland and Norway who are set to defy international opinion and ram harpoons into some of the world’s most intelligent creatures to make products out of their body fat.
Whales have been protected to an extent by an 18-year international moratorium on their slaughter by the International Whaling Commission – but it looks like this is about to change as the rogue states are set to get the votes they need to rev up the harpoons once more.
For once, the US, Britain and Australia are on the right side of an international issue and their representatives have kept the ban in place, but the pattern of votes is changing. Originally the IWC had 30 members, now it has 57 and new countries such as the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu and the West African semi-state of the Ivory Coast are joining. Many of these smaller, poorer nations do not engage in whaling of any kind and have no intention of doing so, but they are voting to lift the moratorium. Something smells, and it’s not the dead whales.
Rather, the Japanese government has been engaged in intensive efforts to persuade poorer countries to help break the international ban on whaling. They have done this with the same method the US used to get such countries to support the Gulf War - a mixture of bribery and blackmail. Poorer countries are often at the mercy of economic aid for the G8 states, and this is the Japanese government’s tool of choice to win them round on the whaling issue.