Foreign Minister Murray McCully says he is still waiting for
a response from Japan after a vessel from its whaling fleet
entered New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone against New
Mr McCully called Japan's ambassador in to meet with deputy
secretary Gerard van Bohemen at the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs yesterday so New Zealand could register its
unhappiness after the vessel trailed an anti-whaling Sea
Shepherd boat into the EEZ last Friday.
Mr McCully said he was now waiting for a response from the
Japanese government before he decided whether to take further
action. "I've had a brief report from that meeting, it
involved us stating our position and nothing of substance
coming back from them yet."
He said he had an "open mind" about how he hoped Japan might
respond. He expected further information overnight and would
talk to officials about what other steps New Zealand could
take. However, he ruled out inviting the ambassador to the
Beehive to meet him saying it was appropriate to deal with it
through Mr van Bohemen, who was also New Zealand's
representative to the International Whaling Commission.
The Japanese embassy would not comment yesterday.
Labour's foreign affairs spokesman David Shearer said the
Government had taken the right step by hauling in Japan's
most senior diplomat.
He said Japan should provide some explanation for allowing
the boat to enter New Zealand's EEZ.
"Considering the Japanese government knew the boat was going
to enter our EEZ, it was provocative and disappointing. Japan
knows our stance on whaling."
Prime Minister John Key said there were other options
available if the Government was dissatisfied with Japan's
response, but would not say what they were.
"I don't want to rush into those options today. We've made
our displeasure quite clear. Let's see if it happens again."
He said New Zealand had greater authority and rights over its
territorial waters within 12 nautical miles, but the vessel
had stopped short of that line. The Sea Shepherd vessel was
travelling to New Zealand to refuel, but there was no reason
for the Japanese boat to enter other than because it was
tracking the ship.
High seas drama
Japan informs New Zealand embassy in Tokyo the Shonan Maru 2
is following a protest boat and may enter New Zealand's
Exclusive Economic Zone (200 nautical miles)
NZ embassy tells Japan it does not want the whaling vessel to
enter the EEZ
Shonan Maru 2 enters the EEZ following the Sea Shepherd
vessel the Steve Irwin. Does not enter territorial waters
Ministry of Foreign Affairs tells Japanese embassy the
actions were disrespectful
McCully calls Japan's most senior diplomat in to the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs to lodge objection
- Claire Trevett of the NZ Herald