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Japan announces IWC withdrawal to resume commercial whaling | Japan News

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Japan is withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and will resume commercial whaling next year, a government spokesman has announced.

The move on Wednesday, which is expected to draw international criticism, came more than three months after the global body for the conservation of whales rejected a Tokyo-led proposal to lift a 32-year ban on the commercial hunting of the mammals.

“We have decided to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission in order to resume commercial whaling in July next year,” Yoshihide Suga, top spokesperson for the Japanese government, told reporters.

Suda said commercial whaling “will be limited to Japan’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zones”.

“We will not hunt in the Antarctic waters or in the southern hemisphere,” he added.

The announcement was widely expected as Tokyo had said it would undertake a “fundamental reassessment” of its IWC membership following the September vote, which guaranteed the body’s 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling will continue.

Japan has defied international protests to conduct what it calls “scientific research whaling”, having repeatedly said its ultimate goal is to whale commercially again.

In 2014, the International Court of Justice ordered it to halt its whaling programme in the Southern Ocean, also called the Antarctic Ocean, after determining that the hunting permits granted by authorities were not being used “for purposes of scientific research”.

Tokyo suspended its hunt for one season to re-tool its whaling programme with measures such as cutting the number of whales and species targeted, but resumed hunting in the 2015-2016 season. It caps its Antarctic catch with a quota of 333 whales annually.






WATCH: Japan proposes legalising commercial whaling (02:25)

The Japanese government, which began scientific whaling in 1987, a year after the international whaling moratorium was introduced, has long maintained that most whale species are not endangered – six of the world’s 13 “great whale species” are classified as endangered, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Japan is also stresing that eating whale is part of its culture. Whale meat ends up on store shelves, even though most Japanese no longer eat it. Whale consumption accounted for 0.1 percent of all Japanese meat consumption, according to the Asahi newspaper.

Japanese media said that Japan could no longer take advantage of the IWC exemption for scientific whaling if it withdrew from the group because the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas requires its signatories, including Japan, to work through “the appropriate international organisations” for marine mammal conservation.

Japan has also continued to hunt smaller species of whales that are not covered by the IWC in its coastal waters.


SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies

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Driver in satisfactory condition following head-on Gatineau collision

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One person was in hospital in satisfactory condition following a head-on collision between two vehicles in Gatineau on Saturday.

According to Gatineau police, the crash occurred around 1:30 p.m. on Montée Paiement, between Saint-Thomas and Saint-Columban roads.

Each of the vehicles had only one occupant at the time of the incident.

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Ottawa military family alleges bad faith eviction by Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat in Canada

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An Ottawa military family alleges their former landlord — Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat in Canada — acted in bad faith when he gave them a notice of eviction, claiming he intended to move into their Vanier rental home with his own family.

The home is now listed for sale for $950,000, two months after Vivian and Tim Funk moved out with their two young children.

In documents filed with the Landlord and Tenant Board, the Funks detailed how their landlord, Sulaiman AlAqeel, acted to end their tenancy by allegedly pretending he was moving in himself. This was preceded by an attempt to market the house to new tenants for significantly more money when the Funks had not given notice indicating they would be leaving, the documents alleged. “The landlord’s representative,” according to the documents, allegedly told the Funks they needed to accept a $500 monthly rent increase and a new lease if they wanted to continue living in the rental property, which wouldn’t be legal under the Residential Tenancies Act.

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Ottawa COVID-19 hospitalization data showing half of cases coming from community, not just long-term care

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With local data showing 50 per cent of COVID-19 hospitalizations coming from the community, long-term care residents aren’t the only one vulnerable to severe illness from the virus, Ottawa’s Board of Health reports.

Despite the majority of deaths having happened in older adult age groups in long-term care homes, residents shouldn’t think institutions are the only settings that are vulnerable to outbreaks that lead to serious illness from the virus.

“[Ottawa Public Health] continues to expand our understanding of the types of settings and situations that have the most impact on COVID-19 transmission in our community and is seeking academic partners to better explore exposure risks as well as a broader assessment of the harms from different public health measures,” OPH outlined in its document, to be present at the Board of Health on Monday.

At the same time, however, OPH says it is working closely with partners on “processes to strengthen and streamline responses.” This includes weekly meetings across agencies to address issues and concerns to ensure a strong collaboration, ongoing communications with facilities, preventative visits and phone calls to review infection prevention and control.

In situations where OPH identified failings at an LTCH or concerns of compliance have been raised, OPH has been quick to issue letters of expectation that outline the deficiencies and timelines fo compliance.

It is unclear how many letters have been issued through both waves of the virus.

And while outbreaks in LTCH during wave two have recorded a higher number of LTCH outbreaks than in wave one, the overall morbidity and mortality has been lower. This means fewer cases, fewer deaths and a lower average duration of outbreaks.

OPH contributed this to building on lessons learned from early COVID-19 outbreaks in LTCH in Ottawa.

https://www.ottawamatters.com/local-news/ottawa-covid-19-hospitalization-data-of-severe-illness-shows-half-of-cases-coming-from-community-not-just-long-term-care-homes-3136152

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