Published: Jul 12, 2011 7:08 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 12, 2011 6:08 PM EDT

ST. HELIER, Jersey - Australia and Japan are sparring verbally at the International Whaling Commission over Japanese whale hunts in Antarctic waters.

Japan's delegation urged Australia on Tuesday to better protect Japanese whaling ships from sabotage raids by anti-whaling activists.

Confrontations with activists forced Japan to cut short its annual hunt south of Australia this year.

Australia rebuffed Japan's request, with Environment Minister Tony Burke saying his country "simply can't agree" to providing more protection to Japanese ships than other vessels operating in the area.

Australia has launched a complaint against Japanese whaling at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the U.N.'s highest court.

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