Japan has made their intentions clear that they wish to continue whaling in the Antarctic later this year, regardless of a finding by the International Whaling Commission that Tokyo had yet to prove the practice of whaling is scientifically justified, a top official said on Friday.This past April, a panel of experts from IWC said it opposed Japan’s proposal to continue its Antarctic whaling program in the Southern Ocean due to the fact that it did not demonstrate a need for “lethal sampling,”.
Last year, Japan canceled their 2014-2015 season hunt after the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that the hunts were in violation of Japan’s legal obligations under an international treaty banning commercial whaling. However, Japanese officials said that whaling would continue in the 2015-2016 season.The Scientific Committee from the IWC said in a report on Friday that Japan’s additional material had failed to clear any doubts regarding whether “lethally obtained data” would contribute any assistance in the conservation of whales.
Minister of Agriculture Yoshimasa Hayashi said Japan will submit a new plan for research whaling this fall to the International Whaling Commission that would allow them to continue on with their annual hunts in waters off Antarctica in 2015.
Japan’s view on whaling continues to take the stance that most whale species are not endangered and that eating whale is part of its food culture.
Masayuki Komatsu, researcher at the International Center for the Study of East Asian Development in Kitakyushu, Japan said,
“Japan is being forced to restructure its whaling from the ground up to turn it into a real research program.”
As of now, the new research proposals from Japan for the justification of their continued whaling practice is not clearing any hurdles from the International Whaling Commission.