msnbc.com news services
updated 6/13/2010 9:28:14 AM ET 2010-06-13T13:28:14

An undercover investigation by a British newspaper revealed on Sunday that Japan offered bribes to officials from several small countries in exchange for their support over whaling.

The Sunday Times newspaper filmed fisheries officials from African, Caribbean and Pacific nations discussing with undercover reporters the possibility of selling their votes on the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in return for aid.

The officials admitted on camera that they voted pro-whaling because of generous aid packages from Japan.

They also said they were given cash and had their expenses paid by Japanese officials at IWC meetings, as well as being offered call girls in Japan, the newspaper reported.

This comes on the eve of an IWC meeting in Morocco this month, where Japan is seeking to break the 24-year moratorium on commercial whaling.

The reporters in the undercover investigation posed as anti-whaling activists and approached fisheries officials from St. Kitts and Nevis, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Grenada, Republic of Guinea and the Ivory Coast.

They promised aid packages for the nations if the officials changed their votes and stopped supporting Japan on the IWC.

The newspaper quoted an official from the Marshall Islands as saying, "We support Japan because of what they give us."

Japan denies buying IWC votes, the Sunday Times reported.

© 2013 msnbc.com

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