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Japan denies buying the votes of IWC members. However, The Sunday Times filmed officials from pro-whaling governments admitting:
— They receive cash payments in envelopes at IWC meetings from Japanese officials who pay their travel and hotel bills.
- One disclosed that call girls were offered when fisheries ministers and civil servants visited Japan for meetings.
Barry Gardiner, an MP and former Labour biodiversity minister, said the investigation revealed “disgraceful, shady practice”, which is “effectively buying votes”.
The reporters, posing as representatives of a billionaire conservationist, approached officials from pro-whaling countries and offered them an aid package to change their vote.