Japan Current Affairs - 2019
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Japan has announced its decision to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC). The withdrawal would enable Japan to resume commercial whaling activities.
Japan has said that it would undertake commercial whaling from July 2019 limited to Japan’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zones. As per the announcement, Japan would not undertake whaling activities in Antarctic waters or in the southern hemisphere.
Why the withdrawal?
The Japanese government was trying hard to persuade the IWC to allow its commercial whaling operations. IWC refused to budge and rejected the proposal of Japan.
Japan has said that since most whale species are not endangered and that eating whale is a part of its culture, Japan has been forced to withdraw from the IWC.
With the withdrawal Japan joins Iceland and Norway in openly defying the organization’s ban on commercial whale hunting.
International Whaling Commission (IWC)
The International whaling commission was set up under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling which was signed on 2nd December 1946 at Washington DC. The IWC aims at providing for the proper conservation of whale stocks and make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry.
IWC is accompanied by legally binding schedule which sets out specific measures that the IWC has collectively decided as necessary in order to regulate whaling and conserve whale stocks. Schedule can be amended by at least three quarters majority agreement unlike convention.
Conservation measures advocated under the schedule are catch limits (which may be zero as it the case for commercial whaling) by species and area, designating specified areas as whale sanctuaries, protection of calves and females accompanied by calves, and restrictions on hunting methods.
The report ‘India’s Sterling Assets: Britain Meets India’ by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has noted that UK is the largest foreign western investor in India.
UK investments in India:
- The total foreign direct investment (FDI) which flowed into India from all channels from the UK between 2000-2018 is estimated at $50.57 billion.
- Of $50.57 billion the UK has directly invested $26.09bn in India. There was an increase in investments by $847 million between 2017 and 2018 representing 7 per cent of all FDI into India.
- Almost two fifths, i.e. 38% of British companies made new investments in India in 2017.
- UK is the fourth largest investor in India. UK remains the largest investor into India outside of South East Asia and Africa.
- Japan narrowly overtook the UK and Japan is the largest G20 investor in India.
- UK is substantially ahead of Germany and France, who contribute 3% and 2% in FDI respectively.
Creating Jobs in India:
- The investments of UK resulted in the creation of around 52,000 new private sector jobs from 2016 to 2018 which was a 14% rise on the previous 18 months.
- British companies have created 422,524 jobs in India since 2000 and around 6% of all employees in British businesses in India are women, with 5% of managers in these firms being female.
Why India is preferred destination?
British firms are attracted to India due to its huge and growing market with an expanding middle class, the easy availability of talented workers and the current Government’s ease of doing business policies and reforms, such as the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax. Now India is the 6th largest economy in the world and is the most improved country on the World Bank Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Index. This makes India an attractive investment destination.
The economic relationship between the United Kingdom and India is blossoming. The economic ties between the two countries are going from strength to strength. India would be a vital trading partner as the UK charts a new future outside the EU. This makes a win-win situation for both the countries.