Whaling summit chief's hotel paid by Japanese: report

20th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

A firm linked to a Japanese businessman is footing the hotel bill for the stand-in chairman of the International Whaling Commission at its annual meeting, The Sunday Times newspaper said.

Japan Tours and Travel Inc, a company based in Houston, Texas, which is linked to the Houston-based Japanese businessman Hideuki "Harry" Wakasa, is paying for Anthony Liverpool's hotel bill in Agadir on the Moroccan coast, the broadsheet said.

It said the firm had paid about 4,000 pounds (6,000 dollars, 4,800 euros) by credit card for Liverpool, the Antiguan ambassador to Japan, to stay at the Atlas Amadil Beach hotel.

The IWC convention states that the expenses of each member of the commission and his experts and advisers should be determined and paid by their own government.

Confronted by a journalist, Liverpool did not deny that his bills were funded by Japanese sources, but he said the country's "government" was not paying for him.

Pro- and anti-whaling nations face off from Monday in a battle over the 24-year-old ban on the commercial killing of whales.

Gathering in Agadir, Morocco, the 88 IWC countries will tussle over controversial changes to a moratorium that has become an icon of green activism since 1986.

© 2010 AFP

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