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Japan Whale Hunting: Embattled Tokyo Lacks Evidence To Kill Antarctic Whales For Research

By | Jun 21, 2015 02:34 PM EDT
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Japan Whale Hunting: Embattled Tokyo Lacks Evidence To Kill Antarctic Whales For Research

Japan has announced that they are planning to resume hunting whales in the Antarctic this 2015. However, the British-based International Whaling Commission said that Tokyo still lacks evidence to kill Antarctic whales for research.(Photo : Getty Images/Koichi Kamoshida)

Japan Whale Hunting - This 2015, Japan has announced that they are planning to resume hunting whales in the Antarctic. However, the British-based International Whaling Commission said that Tokyo lacks evidence to kill Antarctic whales for research.

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In a report on Friday, International Whaling Commission's Scientific Committee said that Japan's "NEWREP-A proposal" has failed to prove that lethal sampling is necessary for whale stock management and conservation. According to SFGATE, the revised proposal about Japan's whale hunting, which would target 3,996 minke whales, contained insufficient information and ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) because the nation's previous hunts weren't really scientific.

Since 1986, the International Whaling Commission has banned Japan for whale hunting unless it's for research, Herald Scotland revealed. But following the International Court of Justice ruling, it was found that Japan sent a nonlethal expedition to the Antarctic for the 2014 season.

The report, which outlaid both sides of the argument, has reflected the sharp divide among almost 90 member nations of the international body. Also on Friday, Japanese authorities announced that they will submit additional pieces of evidence to support their argument. As per NH Voice, Japan's whale hunting will continue in the Antarctic this winter season.

"We have not changed any policies and our goal," Japan's representative to the International Whaling Commission Joji Morishita said. He also added that the Japanese government will sincerely respond to "scientifically backed comments" in Friday's report. However, Morishita panned the comments as missing consensus.

Under the "Scientific Whale Research program in the Antarctic Ocean," the revised Japan whale-hunting plan has set an annual target of 333 minke whales for future Antarctic hunts. The number immensely decreased from some 900 whales after the ICJ deemed it illegal, The Guardian noted.

United Nations' highest court, ICJ, ruled the program as "not for the purposes of scientific research." The agency also added that it abused the scientific exemption set out in the 1986 international moratorium on whaling, which concluded that Tokyo was carrying out a commercial hunt and using science as a cover-up.

Additionally, ICJ cited that Japan's whale-hunting program needed to expand both the biological and ecological data on Antarctic minke whales. The court added Japan should also analyze "the structure and dynamics" of the marine ecosystems in the Antarctic.

Meanwhile, Japan believes the world's whale population, especially the minke species, is ample enough to accommodate a return to sustainable whaling. But Japan's whale-hunting comeback is in conflict with campaigners and anti-whaling nations since the Japanese never denies the fact that whale meats usually end up on their dinner tables.

If Japan's whale-hunting resumes and continues, it would face the ire of the international community as they fail to get the approval of the global body in charged with the conservation of the marine mammals.


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