Japan is marching toward a repeal of the 24-year-old ban on commercial whaling, momentum it's built largely by greasing the palms of the International Whaling Commission, reports the Times of London in an exclusive investigation. Japan denies impropriety, but the Times says it's got video of officials admitting Japan pays for their travel, and gives them aid, spending money, and even hookers in return for a pro-whaling stances.
Japan has allegedly stacked the IWC with reps from tiny nations it has in its pocket; Times reporters posed as environmentalists and offered various officials bribes to change their votes. They had takers from St Kitts and Nevis, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Grenada, Republic of Guinea and the Ivory Coast. Says one official: “We support Japan because of what they give us.” (Read more International Whaling Commission stories.)