Clinton leaves decision on whaling sanctions against Japan to Bush
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton declined to impose new trade sanctions against Japan whaling hunts, despite the Asian nation's recent moves to expand hunts into the North Pacific.
In a letter sent to Congress on Friday, the president said he remains "deeply concerned" about the whaling hunts, but wanted to leave the decision on trade sanctions to the next administration.
"I do not believe that import prohibitions would further our objectives at this time," Clinton said in the letter. "We are committed to a sustained effort in order to bring about positive movement in Japan's whaling policies."
Environmentalists pressed the White House to impose trade sanctions, arguing Japan was undermining international efforts to create secure whale sanctuaries.
Clinton acknowledged those concerns, telling Congress that Japan had expanded whaling in the North Pacific.
"I remain very concerned about Japan's decision to expand its research whaling to two additional species," the president's letter said.