Credits: Andrew Korson/ Shutterstock

Japan To Resume Commercial Whale Hunting?

by | December 30, 2018

As per a news report by Kyodo News, Japan might soon leave the International Whaling Commission in order to resume whale hunting for commercial purposes. The report cited government sources claiming the country might begin commercial whale hunting for the first time in 30 years. 

At present, Japan doesn’t allow commercial whaling and has so far hunted the giant mammals only for ‘scientific research’ purposes. The report also claims that the country might announce it’s decision by the end of the year. 

Commercial Whale Hunting
Whale meat for sale in Osaka, Japan
Credits Lewis Tse Pui Lung/ Shutterstock

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Will Japan Resume Commercial Whale Hunting

The impending decision, if taken, would allow the biggest marine animal to be hunted down for meat, oil, blubber and recreation. The Kyodo report also mentions Japan’s plan to allow commercial whale hunting within its economic zone and nearby seas, while Antarctic Ocean would still be declared prohibited for whale hunters. 

The report citing reliable government sources comes as a rude shock to anti-whaling community and drew immediate criticism from Australia, as per The Guardian. Melissa Price, Minister of Environment (Australia), confirmed the country’s standing on remaining opposed to all forms of whaling, both commercial and ‘scientific’. She went a step ahead and stated,

“While we would strongly prefer Japan remain a party to the convention and a member of the commission, the decision to withdraw is a matter for Japan”. 

Melissa Price, Environment Minister, Australia

Conversation campaigners warned that Japan would risk becoming a ‘pirate whaling nation‘ by withdrawing from the IWC. The head of campaigns at Humane Society International (Australia), Nicola Netaon said,

“This is the path of a pirate whaling nation, with a troubling disregard for international rule”.

Nicola Netaon , head of campaigns, Humane Society International (Australia)

Evidently, Japan had earlier criticized IWC for abandoning it’s original purpose and had argued in favor of resuming “sustainable” hunting of certain whales like minke. Their argument was based on the fact that the population of these type of whales has recovered. 

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Joki Morishita, Japan’s IWC commissioner, had earlier this year issued a warning stating that the nation’s differences with anti-whaling countries were quite clear and they are planning their next step. The warning came following the defeat Japan faced in IWC’s September meeting at Brazil, where the whaling supporting nation’s proposal to change decision making process was voted down. 

If Kyodo report turns out to be true, Japan would join the likes of Norway and Iceland who presently allow commercial whale hunting.

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