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30 Jun, 2019 12:58

Japan to resume whale-hunting after 30-year ban, ignores global outcry

Japan to resume whale-hunting after 30-year ban, ignores global outcry

From today, Japan’s whalers are officially permitted to hunt and kill whales following Tokyo’s controversial decision to quit an international ban on commercial whaling. The move triggered upset among environmentalists worldwide.

According to a government decision announced last year, Tokyo is leaving the International Whaling Commission (IWC), which placed a ban on commercial hunting of the endangered species back in 1986. The withdrawal came into effect on June 30. This means that, from that day, Japanese whalers will be able to resume the killing of whales for meat. However, Japan will be restricted to hunting the mammals only in its exclusive economic zone and territorial waters.  

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Tokyo’s withdrawal from the IWC takes effect right after the world leaders’ G20 Summit in Osaka. In an open letter published Friday, a number of environmentalist and global welfare organizations urged G20 leaders to condemn Japan’s “cruel assault on whales” and called for an “an immediate end to all commercial whaling.”  

Japan leaving the IWC and defying international law to pursue its commercial whaling ambitions is renegade, retrograde and myopic....” Kitty Block, president of Humane Society International, one of the contributors to the letter, said in a statement.  

Whaling is a sensitive issue in Japan, where eating whale meat is a cherished cultural tradition. Japan is not the first country to resume commercial whaling - Iceland and Norway are also openly against the IWC’s ban as well.

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