Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe told parliament Monday he would boost his efforts toward restarting commercial whaling, despite a top UN court’s order that Tokyo must stop killing whales in the Antarctic. The PM’s comments put him firmly on a collision course with anti-whaling groups, who had hoped the ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) would herald the beginning of the end for the mammal hunt.
I want to aim for the resumption of commercial whaling by conducting whaling research in order to obtain scientific data indispensable for the management of whale resources.
—Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe
Abe said that in contrast to the foreign perception that whaling communities mercilessly exploit the giant mammals, whaling towns appreciate the meat and show respect to the creatures with religious services at the end of every hunting season. Japan has hunted whales under a loophole in the 1986 global moratorium, which allows lethal research on the mammals, but it has made no secret of the fact that their meat ends up in restaurants and on fish markets. The annual hunt in the Southern Ocean has proved particularly controversial, with sometimes violent confrontations between whalers and protestors.
It it regrettable that this part of Japanese culture (whaling) is not understood.
Japan PM Abe vows efforts to resume commercial whale hunt ~ The Straits Times