WELLINGTON, July 7 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Prime Minister John Key reiterated his country's opposition to whaling during a visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday.
Key said he thought Japan was considering options to resume whaling in a way that met with the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which declared in March that Japan's whaling program was clearly commercial and failed to abide by the conditions required for scientific research.
"I certainly expressed the real concern that New Zealanders have about whaling and the effect of the ICJ decision," Key said in a televised press conference during Abe's visit.
"The very strong position is that they want to see the end of all whaling, scientific or otherwise."
Abe said through an interpreter that the ICJ's decision was disappointing, but Japan would abide by the rule of law.
Australia, in a case to the ICJ supported by New Zealand, successfully argued for an end to the issue of whaling permits for Japan's whaling program in the Southern Ocean, saying it was inconsistent with provisions for a research program under the international Whaling Convention.