21 Jun 2005

Solomons changes its position over whaling moratorium

10:16 am on 21 June 2005

Solomon Islands has changed its position on an international whaling moratorium and is now backing Japan's position for an end to the 20-year moratorium.

Earlier this month, the Solomon Islands prime minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza, said his government would abstain from voting at the International Whaling Commission's meeting in South Korea.

Sir Allan gave the assurance after talks with the Australian environment minister in Honiara but the New Zealand conservation minister, who is in South Korea, now says Solomon Islands will join Tuvalu and Kiribati in supporting the Japanese position.

Meanwhile in Honiara, Sir Allan has restated that Solomon Islands will support Japan in various international fora to reciprocate for Tokyo's tangible assistance.

He made the statement at the launch of a restoration project at Honiara's international airport to which Japan will contribute more than one million US dollars.