Japanese PM's whaling comments worry New Zealand government

Japanese PM's whaling comments worry New Zealand government

WELLINGTON, June 10 (Xinhua) --- New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully on Tuesday described as "worrying" reported comments from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on a resumption of commercial whaling.

"While it is not clear precisely what Prime Minister Abe is proposing in the short term, the fact that he has told a Parliamentary Committee that he wants to aim towards the resumption of commercial whaling is both unfortunate and unhelpful, " McCully said in a statement.

"The decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) laid down clear guidelines for any research whaling activities in the future. We welcomed Japan's statement that they would study and abide by the decision of the court," he said.

"As a country that places a high value on its good international citizenship, we hope and expect that Japan will continue to respect the ICJ decision."

Japan's prime minister told parliament Monday he would boost his efforts towards restarting commercial whaling.

In April, the ICJ effectively halted Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean when it upheld a case brought by Australia and backed by New Zealand that Japan's "scientific" whaling program was a front for commercial whaling.