Japan resumes whaling amid international criticism

A minke whale captured by Japanese ship
A minke whale captured by Japanese ship Yushin Maru

Japan stirred up disfavour from a group of 33 nations when it dispatched a whaling fleet to Antarctic last week. This will be Japan’s first ship since 2014, marking the end of the one year ban imposed on it last year by an international court of justice.

Environmentalists around the globe have been rallying to stop this “crime against nature”. Japan had said in a statement last month, that it will kill 333 minke whales this season, for the purpose of carrying out scientific research.  This statement failed to convince leaders on the international arena, especially from Australia and New Zealand.

“We consider that there is no scientific basis for the slaughter of whales and strongly urge the government of Japan not to allow it to go ahead,” said Prime Minister John Key, New Zealand. New Zealand led a protest against the country on Monday, while Australia is considering other possible legal actions.

Japan sought to reassure activists that it was committed to sustainable whaling and was only trying to establish that the world whaling population was sufficient to support  a revival in commercial whaling. Its reassurance, however, has left onlookers unimpressed and more determined than ever.

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