Japanese Government claimed in its fresh report which is made by a fisheries agency that some ships were involved in illegal hunting of minke whales and sei whales.
Tokyo claims that it is trying to prove the whale population is large enough to sustain a return to commercial hunting for a traditional source of food. Foreign pressure on Japan to stop whaling has only made conservatives and politicians more resolute about continuing. It is a rare thorny issue in Tokyo’s otherwise amiable diplomacy.
Japan has cancelled its 2014-15 hunt, only to resume it the following year under a new programme — saying the fresh plan is genuinely scientific.
Its hunt in the Antarctic has seen clashes on the high seas between Japanese whalers and animal rights activists.
Japan is a signatory to the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) moratorium on hunting, but exploits a loophole which allows whales to be killed in the name of scientific research. Norway and Iceland are the only countries in the world that authorize commercial whaling.
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