1. Australians love whales. Whale-watching is a money-making industry that is incompatible with whaling. Whaling not only means fewer whales, but if the Charles Siebert story in the New York Times a few months ago is any indication, it may also change whale behavior and cause them to avoid humans.
2. Australians love whales. If news stories about anything associated with whaling and Australia are any indication, Australians regard any whales that spend any time in their waters as part of their national heritage. Imagine Russia proposing to dynamite the Great Wall of China or fill in the Grand Canyon with cement. This is how I imagine, with only a slight bit of hyperbole, that Australians would react if their government did anything that even inadvertently helped the Japanese successfully hunt whales.
3. Australians love whales. The possible infertility of a rare white humpback, Migaloo (yes, he has a name. And a website/Facebook page.) prompted multiple news stories to show up in my Google Alert - Whales. In fact, Migaloo has been a fixture in the news. Humpbacks, by the way, are one of the species Japan hunts. I wouldn't want to be the Japanese Ambassador to Australia if Sea Shepherd obtained evidence that the Japanese whaling fleet was within harpooning distance of Migaloo, even if he weren't killed.
Japan's intransigence on the whaling issue is becoming increasingly puzzling. No one's buying whale meat and other countries hate whaling so much that they won't even stop ships from harassing their whaling fleet. Doesn't Japan have more important things to worry about?