At the opening of committees, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) debated how to curb the practice of commercial whaling. Judges talked about how Japan was not thinking of the future and continued the practice despite international criticism. In the past eight years, over 800 whales have been killed. The courtroom was set up with a panel of judges and two representatives, one person defending the use of commercial whaling and one criticizing the practice.
Captain Lawrence Edward Grace Oats (referred to more commonly as “Captain Oats”) joined the committee to demonstrate to the judges of the ICJ how Japan condones the shooting and harpooning of whales for commercial purposes. To illustrate his point and strengthen his argument, Captain Oats showed the court a graphic video, depicting a whale trying to escape but being shot repeatedly by whaling weapons. The video showed the ocean filling with blood, giving the panel a strong visual.
One judge brought up the point that the video did not show any commercial whaling, to which the opponent responded “Well it’s not only about commercial whaling but its clear proof that Japan is killing these whales. ‘’ As Captain Oats stated, “It’s a duty for all countries to help these animals that cannot help themselves.”