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New Zealand to intervene in anti-whaling court case: Australian FM

12-15-2010 14:13 BJT

CANBERRA, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- Australia on Wednesday welcomed New Zealand's decision to intervene in an international court case against Japanese whaling, and described it as a tactical move.

In May, Australia launched legal action against Japan in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) aiming to end the so-called scientific research whaling program.

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd announced New Zealand would not file as a party to that action, but instead "intervene" in the case. He said that the result was Australia's "preference".

"By intervening in the case New Zealand will be able to make both written and oral submissions to the court that Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean is contrary to its obligations under applicable international conventions," Rudd said in a statement.

"New Zealand has once again confirmed that it is a strong partner of Australia in the bid to end scientific whaling."

According to New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully, Australia indicated they would prefer New Zealand not to file as a party, because if New Zealand had filed as a party, Australia would not have been able to appoint a judge to hear the case.

McCully said in a statement that the decision to intervene instead, would allow the case to proceed "without delay".

Japan earlier argued its scientific activity is permitted under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, however Australia said it is a commercial activity.

A decision by the ICJ is not expected until at least 2013.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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