BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Japan denies whaling allegation
Japan has denied paying for delegates from small states to attend international whaling negotiations. The statement follows a claim from the Solomon Islands that Tokyo had usually funded its attendance at meetings of the International Whaling Commission.
Anti-whaling campaigners have accused Japan of vote-buying to support its bid to end a ban on commercial whaling. In recent years, a number of small countries have joined the IWC, many with little history of hunting whales.
One of these countries, the Solomon Islands, was conspicuously absent from a meeting called by the commission in London last week. The islands’ Prime Minister, Derek Sikua, said on Saturday that his country had not attended because it no longer wanted to accept Japanese assistance. He said Japan had usually paid for the Solomon Islands to go, although he did not say how much money was involved.