Japan won its first pro-whaling majority in more than two decades today at the International Whaling Commission when the group approved a declaration criticizing a 1986 ban on commercial whaling.
But Japan lost four more substantive votes at the IWC's June 16-20 meeting in St. Kitts and Nevis.
The first vote, proposed by Japan, was to prevent the IWC from discussing the fate of dolphins, porpoises and small whales in addition to great whales. Japan lost 30-32, with one abstention.
The second vote, also proposed by Japan, was to introduce secret balloting. It lost that vote 30-33, with one abstention.
The third vote, which would have allowed Japanese coastal communities to hunt a limited number of whales -- effectively circumventing the moratorium -- was lost by 30 votes to 31, with four abstentions.
Japan lost its fourth vote when it proposed eliminating a Southern Ocean whale sanctuary, for which it needed and did not expect a three-quarters majority. Japan had hoped to at least win a simple majority but lost 28-33, with four abstentions.
The fifth vote on the declaration, which called the moratorium unnecessary and which accused whales of eating "huge quantities of fish," was won by 33 votes to 32, with one abstention.
Environmental activists blamed a "yes" vote by Denmark for passage of the statement.
THE VOTING LIST
In Favour of the St Kitts Declaration = 33:
Antigua & Barbuda, Benin, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Denmark, Dominica, Gabon, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Iceland, Japan, Korea, Kiribati, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Nauru, Nicaragua, Norway, Palau, Russian Federation, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Senegal, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Togo, Tuvalu
Against = 32:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Panama, Portugal, San Marino, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA.
Abstentions = 1: China
Absent = 1: Guatamala