SPIRIT of the Bay Whale Watching Cruises? Wayne Marsh with petitions signed by Australian and Japanese patrons calling for a ha
SPIRIT of the Bay Whale Watching Cruises? Wayne Marsh with petitions signed by Australian and Japanese patrons calling for a ha

Japanese sign up

By CHRISTIAN STANGER

A COUPLE of hundred Japanese names on an anti-whaling petition can't be wrong.

Japanese tourists who board Spirit of the Bay Whale Watching cruises are being asked to sign a petition aimed at putting an end to Japan's controversial bid to resume commercial whaling and only one person has refused so far.

Wayne Marsh of Spirit of the Bay Whale Watching Cruises has garnered around 4500 names, around 200 of which are of Japanese tourists who have been out for a day of whale watching.

"There are two petitions," said Mr Marsh.

"One was launched several weeks ago by Tweed MP Neville Newell and the other one was launched last Friday by Moncrief MP Steven Ciobo, in conjunction with Mayor Ron Clarke and Mimi McPherson," Mr Marsh said.

"We've only had one Japanese tourist that has been on the boat that has refused to sign. I think they just wanted to stay neutral."

While both petitions will be sent to Prime Minister John Howard, the Gold Coast-based petition will be sent to the Gold Coast's sister city in Japan and it will hopefully be taken by them to the Japanese government, hoping that they will rethink their whaling policy.

"After sending these to parliament, if the Japanese do happen to win the vote to go ahead and restart commercial whaling under what they call scientific research, we will be taking steps to getting that IWC law changed in order to stop them," said Mr Marsh.

Mr Marsh hopes the Japanese names on the petition will lend the documents more credence with those who will review them.

"Hopefully this will put a bit more pressure on the Australian government to take a stronger stand against what the Japanese are trying to do at the moment." "I think they are focusing on what can be lost in trade agreements and what we can lose in tourist dollars."



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