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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

24 May 2005

Sister States urged to join fight for whales

Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, has urged state premiers to use their formal associations, known as Sister States relationships, to join the community campaign to end Japan's bid to hunt more whales.

Senator Campbell has welcomed West Australian premier Geoff Gallop's plan to write to WA's Sister States, the prefecture of Hyogo, to outline his concerns about the Japanese Fishing Agency's Plans to increase its whale intake.

"Australia and Japan have forged six formal Sister States associations as well as sister city relationships with some 99 cities," Senator Campbell said.

"These Sister State relationships between Australia and Japan provide another avenue for seeking support in lobbying the Japanese Government to end the so-called 'scientific whaling'.

"The Sister State ties were established to exchange knowledge, encourage international cooperation and develop goodwill and the programs encompass areas such as culture, education, the performing arts, sports, youth exchange and environmental management.

"I will continue to pursue the issue on behalf of the Australian Government with like-minded members of the International Whaling Commission to oppose Japan's bid, and this is an effective way the states could also play a part.

Senator Campbell has already written to the mayors of all the relevant local authorities in Australia to convey the Federal Government's concerns about the Japanese Fishing Agency's actions and to urge them to write to their Japanese sister city.

"I am now encouraging state premiers with Sister States ties to write to their counterparts in Japan and seek their support in lobbying the Japanese Government to end the de facto commercial whaling that is being carried out under the pretext of scientific research," Senator Campbell said.

Since 1980, six formal Sister States relationships have been established between Austalia and Japan.

New South Wales Tokyo Metropolitan Government
Victoria Aichi prefecture
Queensland Saitama and Osaka prefectures
South Australia Okayama prefecture
Western Australia Hyogo prefecture

Media contacts:
Renae Stoikos (Minister Campbell's office)   02 6277 7640 or   0418 568 434

Commonwealth of Australia