Japan: It's Time to Go Whaling

Country will withdraw from International Whaling Commission, restart commercial whaling in July
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2018 6:21 AM CST
Japan: It's Time to Go Whaling
In this June 21, 2009, photo, a Baird's beaked whale, which was caught some 38 miles off the coast, is seen at a fishing port, in Wada, southeast of Tokyo.   (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)

Japan is abandoning the pretense of "scientific research" and will withdraw from the International Whaling Commission, freeing it up to resume commercial whaling beginning in July, reports the BBC. There's one silver lining for whales in that Japan will give up hunting in the Antarctic and restrict whaling to its own territorial waters. But the move also means that Japan can now freely hunt whales considered endangered by the IWC, such as minke whales. Australia, which has often sparred with Japan over the practice, wasted little time in denouncing the move, saying in a statement that it "remains resolutely opposed to all forms of commercial and so-called 'scientific' whaling." A rep for the country's Humane Society International took it further: "This is the path of a pirate whaling nation, with a troubling disregard for international rule." (More whaling stories.)

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