Japan considers leaving International Whaling Commission to resume commercial whale hunts

Japan considers leaving International Whaling Commission to resume commercial whale hunts

Japan considers leaving International Whaling Commission to resume commercial whale hunts

While the Antarctic Ocean is a rich fishing ground, the decision to concentrate on whaling in nearby waters reflected the perception that commercial whaling in Antarctica would not resume, even if discussions continued at the increasingly dysfunctional IWC.

"Under the rules of the International Whaling Commission, of which Japan is a member, there has been an international ban on commercial whaling since 1986 - though there is an exception for whaling conducted with ecological research in mind".

And if Japan did resume commercial whaling without an worldwide management structure in place, it could face another embarrassment as in 2014.

Wildlife protection groups have already criticised the planned withdrawal.

Hideki Moronuki, an official from the Fisheries Agency of Japan, said that Japan was considering every possible option but has "not yet come up with a decision".

The Yomiuri ShimbunPressing ahead with the government's plan to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission would spell the end for Japan's research whaling in the Antarctic Ocean but open the door to commercial operations in Japan's exclusive economic zone and waters near the nation.

Japanese officials have said the whaling organization is supposed to pursue sustainability but has become an anti-whaling body. The government "needs to remove our worries by showing what kind of strategy it will adopt after departure", he added.

A male resident of the town said, "There are people who have always been waiting for a return of our old practice of giving captured whale (meat) to neighbors".

For now, all attention will be on just how anti-whaling countries will react to Japan's pullout from the IWC.

Such a move would spark global criticism against Japan over whale conservation and deepen the divide between anti- and pro-whaling countries. In fiscal 1962, some 230,000 tons of whale meat were eaten.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government will approve the measure on Tuesday - Christmas Day - according to the Nikkei Asia Review on Thursday, citing unnamed government sources.

In this Greenpeace photo from January 7, 2006, the Japanese whaling ship Nisshin Maru has two minke whales transferred up the ramp of the factory ship in the Southern Ocean.

"There are different points of view on the IWC pullout", said Naoko Hasegawa, the vice principal of the elementary school, "but what we worry about is what will happen to the food culture that has taken root in this region".

Related news



[an error occurred while processing the directive]