Japan to withdraw from IWC to resume commercial whaling

Cesar Mills
December 22, 2018

Japan was at the centre of an worldwide outcry last night after reports emerged that it was planning to resume the commercial hunting of whales.

The administration told its MPs of the choice, NHK reports. A foreign ministry official confirmed "all options are on the table but nothing formal has been decided yet".

Business whaling was restricted by the IWC in 1986 after a few whales were driven almost to elimination. According to the country, the hunt is defensible because the whale population has risen sharply.

The Japanese government is expected to cite the recovery of certain whale species as justification for the move, although it's thought to be considering whaling only in its own waters, according to the BBC.

In the past, Japan attempted to get permission to commercially hunt just those whales that have greater numbers in the wild, such as the common minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), which is listed as an animal of "least concern" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The defeat prompted Japan's IWC commissioner, Joji Morishita, to warn that the country's differences with anti-whaling nations were "very clear" and that it would plan its "next step". It has plunged in ongoing decades.

"We're going to continue to press the global community to bring an end to the unjustified persecution of whales for commercial profit wherever it occurs", she said.

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The moratorium on commercial whaling has been in force since 1986.

The IWC was set up for the objective of the conservation and sustainable use of whales.

Yet whaling and anti-whaling countries have clashed over the matter. Not satisfied with harpooning whales, it now looks like Japan is threatening to harpoon the future of the IWC.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific condemns the decision by the Japanese Government to withdraw from IWC to resume commercial whaling.

Japan has long towed the line with the IWC, which was established in 1948.

Japan maintains that most whale species are not endangered and that eating whale is a cherished part of its food culture.

September 2018 - The IWC rejects Japan's proposal to resume commercial whaling at an annual meeting in Brazil. After a year's pause, Japan began what it said was a scaled-back whaling program. For instance, Norway and Iceland use technical objections to get around the ban, and Japan historically has claimed it was hunting whales for scientific purposes, The Guardian reported.

Other reports by GizPress

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