Mayor's olive branch: Seymour urges Japan PM to visit whales
AS THE international fallout over Japan's decision to resume commercial whaling continues, the Fraser Coast has offered an olive branch.
Mayor George Seymour has extended an invitation to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to visit Hervey Bay and come whale watching, in the hopes Mr Abe will reconsider his country's decision.
It follows Japan withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission earlier this week and announcing it will resume hunting whales in its territorial waters, a move that has prompted outcry in Australia.
Local whale tour operators have also voiced their fury over the decision.
In the letter, obtained by the Chronicle, Cr Seymour says Japan's decision to withdraw from the IWC is "deeply regrettable” and outlines the importance of preserving whales.
"Seeing whales up close, living, playing and caring for their young is a treasured experience,” Cr Seymour states.
"Like many other nations we see the preservation of these magnificent creatures of the sea as an indicator of humanity's stewardship of our shared planet.”
It ends with an offer to "view and appreciate these peaceful, majestic and extraordinary creatures up close”.
Cr Seymour told the Chronicle he did not expect a response from Mr Abe but said it was important to let the Japanese Government know "people are watching around the world”.
"People need to recognise the horrendous activity of whaling and let their voices be known,” he said.
"If he (Shinzo Abe) came to Hervey Bay and saw the whales playing in the bay, it might make him reconsider his position.”