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Japan Is Going to Start 'Scientific' Whaling Again

Country plans to defy UN court ruling
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2015 10:13 AM CST
Japan Is Going to Start 'Scientific' Whaling Again
Booklets titled "The Truth of Whaling Problem" are placed next to whale meat dishes on display at a cafeteria of Ministry of International Trade and Industry in Tokyo.   (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

(Newser) – Japan's whale meat restaurants are set to get fresh supplies with the resumption of what the country's government insists is scientific whaling. The country has decided to buck last year's International Court of Justice ruling and send its whalers back to sea under a revised plan. Under the plan submitted to the International Whaling Commission on Friday, Japan say the "scientifically reasonable" program will catch 333 minke whales in the Antarctic Ocean during the 2015-16 season, a two-thirds drop from the usual target of 1,000 reports Reuters. Japan says the new plan takes the United Nations court's concerns about the program into account.

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In its ruling, the ICJ said the former program, which allowed Japan to get around a ban on commercial whaling, was "not driven by scientific considerations." The court decided that scientists did not need to kill the whales in order to study them, reports the BBC, which notes that Japan doesn't hide the fact that the meat from the whales is eaten. When the program resumes, which could be before the end of this year, Australia is expected to strongly protest, as is New Zealand, where Prime Minister John Key warned last year that the country's navy might get involved if Japan decides to defy the ban, 3 News reports. (Scientists from other nations determined that what little scientific research is conducted on the whales is mostly useless and often very strange.)

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