After stopping its reprehensible practices for a full season in the wake of a decision from the International Court of Justice, Japan announces whaling to resume by end of March.
After both national and international protests regarding Japan’s whaling policies became the norm in the past years, the European Union’s International Court of Justice analyzed the country’s claims that the 1000 whales they killed each year were for scientific research, and they decided to ask Japan to stop its whaling practices.
However, after conforming to the decision for a season, the country’s officials, despite vehement protests coming from both their citizens and from other countries, announced that they will resume their “scientific” whaling practices, albeit they will reduce the quota to 333 whales a year, instead of the previous thousand.
This announcement has stirred the public opinion on an international level, with Australia criticizing the move, and New Zealand going as far as to say that they will consider all options to stop the immoral and virtually illegal practice.
Even though commercial whaling was declared illegal in 1986, Japan has been clinging to a loophole to continue the vile practice. According to the moratorium issued in 1986, whaling was to be allowed if performed for scientific purposes.
So, Japan claimed in the past years that the whaling it did was purely for scientific reasons, though they did not deny that the meat from the captured whales was going towards public consumption.
After the International Court of Justice declared that there wasn’t proof that scientific research was actually performed on the aquatic mammals, and thus forbade Japan from engaging in the unscrupulous act, the country did stop for a while.
Now however, whaling is to resume by the end of the year, with the first catches to be brought home by March. Even though they reduced their quota by 66%, the hunting of the minke whales in the Antarctic would lead to their species losing 4000 individuals in the next twelve years.
As the public opinion is mostly unanimously condemning Japan’s officials for their practices, with the country’s citizens in an uproar about being put in a poor light, Joji Morishita the director general for the National Research Institute of Far Seas Fishery claims that the only reason the practice is looked down upon is because of the Westerners’ poorly placed sympathies.
Whether the whaling will begin again without a hitch, or if something will be done regarding the blatant disregard of the International Court of Justice’s decision remains to be seen in the future months.
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