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C 60/128 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 25. 2.

98

How does the Commission view the fact that Japan is trying to obtain permission through CITES to resume
whaling and international trade in whales? And what is the Commission's view on permitting the hunting of and
trading in (protected) whale species?

How will the Commission be protesting to Japan against the attitude and practices described above?

Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission


(25 July 1997)

The fact that whale meat from several cetacean species is both legally and illegally traded with Japan and Korea
and on sale within those countries is indeed known. The issue was extensively discussed at the 10th meeting of
the conference of the parties to the Convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and
flora (CITES), held in Harare, Zimbabwe from 9 to 20 June 1997. The Conference adopted a series of
recommendations to improve controls and to increase possibilities to detect whale meat of illegal origin. It should
be pointed out in this context that Japanese authorities have on multiple occasions been successful in the seizure
and confiscation of illegal shipments.

The Commission confirms that pre-moratorium stocks of whale meat and stocks derived from Japanese scientific
whaling exist. Whale meat can be stored for up to ten years. It is also true that whale meat is derived from
by-catches and even from whale strandings.

The Japanese (and Norwegian) proposals to the conference mentioned above, to transfer certain whale
populations from CITES Appendix I to Appendix II were all rejected or withdrawn and were strongly opposed by
the Community.

Finally, the Commission is of the opinion that both scientific and commercial whaling should only take place
within the framework of the Convention for the regulation of whaling and therefore not without approval from
the International whaling commission (IWC). It has frequently made this view known since the adoption of the
moratorium on commercial whaling by the IWC.

(98/C 60/214) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2333/97


by Johanna Maij-Weggen (PPE) to the Commission
(7 July 1997)

Subject: Confiscation of bibles in Uzbekistan

According to the Nederlands Dagblad of 19 April 1997, the Uzbekistan Government has confiscated 25 000
bibles intended for Christians in the Republic.

Will the Commission ask for clarification of this matter from the Uzbekistan Government, particularly in view of
Article 2 of the partnership and cooperation agreement between the European Union and Uzbekistan, which
refers to human rights as defined in the Helsinki Final Act and the Charter of Paris?

Answer given by Mr Van den Broek on behalf of the Commission


(4 September 1997)

The Commission has no information on this matter.

It has been in touch with the Uzbekistan authorities, which have so far failed to clarify the situation.