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02nd Jul 2019

Commercial whaling has resumed in Japan after a 31 year ban on the practice

Rebecca O'Keeffe


Sad news.

Commercial whaling has resumed in Japan after a 31 year ban on the practice.

The last whale hunt in Japan was in 1986.

Whaling has been allowed in the meantime in Japan, but only for the purpose of scientific research.

However, Japan has left the International Whaling Commission, and no longer has to follow the ban.

The country has said that it will move forward with commercial whaling, but will do so sustainably.

Speaking about the news, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasutoshi Nishimura, said that he hoped the news would help carry on the tradition of whaling.

“We hope commercial whaling will be on track as soon as possible, contribute to local prosperity and carry on Japan’s rich whale culture to the next generation,” he added.

Also delighted by the news was Yoshifumi Kai, who is the head of the Japan Small-Type Whaling Association.

“My heart is overflowing with happiness, and I’m deeply moved. People have hunted whales for more than 400 years in my hometown.”

The tradition of whaling in Japan is a long one, with hunting and eating whale meat being an important part of the country’s culture.

However, not everyone has welcomed the news with joy.

Sam Annesley, executive director at Greenpeace Japan, said:

“The government of Japan must urgently act to conserve marine ecosystems, rather than resume commercial whaling.”

“As a result of modern fleet technology, overfishing in both Japanese coastal waters and high seas areas has led to the depletion of many whale species.”

“Most whale populations have not yet been recovered, including larger whales such as blue whales, fin whales and sei whales.”