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Australian TV Says Japan Bought Support in Commercial Whaling Bid

An Australian television program alleges Japan bought the votes of a handful of small nations in its bid to resume commercial whaling.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation program features interviews with former government officials from the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific and the Caribbean nations of Dominica and Grenada. The officials say Tokyo bribed their governments with millions of dollars in aid and other incentives. Japan denies the accusations.

The International Whaling Commission rejected Japan's efforts to restart commercial whaling last month during a conference in South Korea.

The television program says the Solomon Islands broke its pledge of support to Australia, which opposes commercial whaling, despite Australia's role as a major donor to the impoverished island.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.