EUROPE: Japan announces plans to starting again whale hunting in the Antarctic whale, but has said it will make cuts of its precise whaling program. The international Court of Justice ruled earlier this year that japans should stop the hunting of decades-old whale. a ruling that Tokyo has been urged to take note of by the international body that oversees whales.
The new plan, which a Fisheries Agency official said was drawn up in line with suggestions from the court ruling, calls for hunting 333 Minke whales, down from some 900 in Japan’s previous whaling plans, during the 2015-2016 season.
The plan, which Japan has submitted to the International Whaling Commission, also limits the hunt to Minke whales. In past years, hunts have also included quotas for Humpback and Fin whales.
“We hope to earnestly explain this new plan in order to win understanding from other nations in the world,” fisheries minister Koya Nishikawa told reporters.
Japan cancelled its Antarctic hunt this year in response to the ICJ ruling and carried out a scaled-down version of its lesser known Northern Pacific hunt.
Japan has long maintained most whale species are not endangered, and that eating whale is a cherished part of the country’s food culture.
The country began what it calls scientific whaling in 1987, a year after an international moratorium came into effect, despite growing global outrage.