Published: Thu, December 27, 2018
Science | By Patricia Jimenez

Allies lambast Japan for return to whaling

Allies lambast Japan for return to whaling

Suga said that Japan would notify the IWC of its decision by December 31 and that it remains committed to global cooperation on proper management of marine life even after its IWC withdrawal.

Whale hunting has become a rare thorny subject in Japan's otherwise largely amiable foreign policy, with worldwide opposition only prompting conservatives to dig in deeper in support of the tradition.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that Japan's commercial whaling will be limited to its territorial and economic waters.

The whale hunts will abide by global laws and a quota calculated under a method adopted by the IWC.

Japan has also continued to hunt smaller species of whales that are not covered by the IWC in its coastal waters.

Packs of whale meat are displayed in 2014 at a specialty store at Tokyo’s Ameyoko shopping district. Japan says it is leaving the International Whaling Commission to resume commercial hunts but says it will no longer go to the Antarctic to hunt. Chief

Some influential lawmakers' constituencies include whaling communities, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's election district is home to the whaling port of Shimonoseki.

Japan is withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and will resume commercial whaling next year, a government spokesman has announced.

In addition to Japan, both Norway and Iceland have maintained some level of whaling since the moratorium took effect in 1986, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

"The declaration today is out of step with the worldwide community, let alone the protection needed to safeguard the future of our oceans and these majestic creatures", Sam Annesley, executive director of Greenpeace Japan, said in a statement.

Yoshie Nakatani, an official at the foreign ministry's fisheries division, said Japan would still attend IWC meetings.

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He tweeted: "The UK is strongly opposed to commercial whaling and will continue to fight for the protection and welfare of these majestic mammals". Allegations have been made that provision of Japanese aid has been tied to support provided at the IWC.

Wakayama Gov. Yoshinobu Nisaka released a statement supporting the government's decision, saying that "the use of cetaceans each country has had through the ages should be respected as long as their resources are not threatened".

The IWC in September again rejected Tokyo's request to resume commercial whaling.

"Japan is a valued supporter of the worldwide rules-based system and we had hoped Japan would choose to stay in the commission", Peters said.

Japan has defied worldwide protests to conduct what it calls "scientific research whaling", having repeatedly said its ultimate goal is to whale commercially again.

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In 2014, the International Court of Justice ruled that Japan should halt its Antarctic whaling.

A whale breaches near a boat in Antarctica. Its aged whaling mothership is in need of a costly replacement or refit.

To combat the loss of whale meat, Japan switched to what it calls research whaling. "Whale hunts are cruel and whale populations are far from being safe", she said.

She added: "This is the path of a pirate whaling nation, with a troubling disregard for global rule".

Hasn't Japan been whaling all along?

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"(But) if it's too expensive, people will not eat it.

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