Japan announces IWC withdrawal to resume commercial whaling

Packs of whale meat at a whale meat specialty store at Tokyo’s Ameyoko shopping district

Packs of whale meat at a whale meat specialty store at Tokyo’s Ameyoko shopping district

"This is heartbreaking", said Greenpeace International soon after news broke that Japan would resume commercial whaling in July 2019.

"We have chose to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission in order to resume commercial whaling in July next year", top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

Japan said Wednesday it is withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission and will resume commercial whaling next year, in a move expected to spark international criticism.

Tomiji Saito, the deputy head of a local tourism association and the organizer of a whaling festival, said the nation's restart of commercial whaling for the first time in about 30 years is good news.

The withdrawal from the IWC may be a face-saving step to stop Japan's ambitious Antarctic hunts and scale down the scope of whaling to around the Japanese coasts.

"Once commercial whaling resumes, I believe the supply (of whale meat) will stabilize", he said.

The research programme has been criticised as a cover for commercial hunting as the meat is sold on the market at home.

Japan is now conducting research whaling in the Northwestern Pacific and the Antarctic Ocean, but it must halt such activities in those waters once it withdraws from the IWC. Third, it will "cease the take of whales in the Antarctic Ocean/the Southern Hemisphere".

More news: Ole Gunnar Solksjaer told key Man United midfielder is now ‘average’
More news: Baker Mayfield Stares Hue Jackson Down As He Runs Past Him
More news: Syria says air defenses deployed against 'enemy targets' near Damascus

Commercial whaling was banned under a 1986 International Whaling Commission moratorium. Japanese ambassador Masaki Saito was visiting earlier this year.

"The next great thing about it is that if they leave the IWC, that means the Atlantic whale sanctuary will then go ahead because they've been voting against that for years".

Japan is also stresing that eating whale is part of its culture.

Some towns in Japan such as Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, have a whaling tradition but have become the focus of intense worldwide pressure by conservation groups.

Many members of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party do support whaling, and he himself comes from a constituency where whale hunting remains popular. Whaling communities and those who work in the industry have welcomed the resumption of commercial hunts, but others have expressed concern about whales and the expected damage to Japan's reputation.

It makes no secret of the fact that meat from the expeditions ends up on dinner tables, and argues that stocks of certain whales are now sufficient to allow commercial hunts to resume. Whale meat ends up on store shelves, even though most Japanese no longer eat it. Whale consumption accounted for 0.1 percent of all Japanese meat consumption, according to the Asahi newspaper.

Environmental group Greenpeace condemned the decision and disputed Japan's view that whale stocks have recovered, saying that ocean life is being threatened by pollution as well as overfishing.

Recommended News

  • 5 dead in attack on foreign ministry building in Tripoli

    5 dead in attack on foreign ministry building in Tripoli

    The Islamic State jihadist group (IS ) took advantage of the chaos to gain a foothold in the coastal city of Sirte in 2015. One of those killed was taken to Mitiga hospital and the other two victims to Tripoli Medical Centre.
    FDA Officially Says Hemp and CBD Are Now Legal

    FDA Officially Says Hemp and CBD Are Now Legal

    The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 - more commonly called the Farm Bill - was signed into law by President Donald J. The bill does remove industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana in the federal Controlled Substances Act.

    Xiaomi Mi Play revealed on Christmas Eve

    Bundled with the Xiaomi Mi Play , the Chinese company is also offering 10GB of free data per month for 12 months. Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE , Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 4.2, 3.5mm audio jack, and a MicroUSB 2.0 port.
  • 4.8-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Near Europe's Most Active Volcano

    4.8-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Near Europe's Most Active Volcano

    Mount Etna, 3,300 meters high, is the biggest active volcano in Europe, with frequent eruptions recorded in the past 2,700 years. A new fracture has opened near Etna's southeast crater and lava has been flowing down an uninhabited slope.
    Gatwick Airport aims for full schedule following arrests for drone disruptions

    Gatwick Airport aims for full schedule following arrests for drone disruptions

    The drone in police hands may provide useful forensic clues, such as the DNA of people who handled it, Mr Tingley said. Specialist equipment has been deployed by the MOD (Ministry of Defence) to Gatwick airport to assist Sussex Police .

    Watch the disturbing new trailer for Jordan Peele’s Us

    I wanted the sense of an adventure that was not necessarily a claustrophobic one - that's a feeling that turns me off watching. The film, a follow up (not a sequel) to Peele's hit " Get Out ", follows a family being terrorized by versions of themselves .
  • Ghosn detention extended by 10 days

    Ghosn detention extended by 10 days

    The 64-year-old has reportedly denied the allegations, asserting that transactions were carried out legally. Ghosn has been held at Tokyo's detention house since his November 19 arrest.
    Merry Christmas, Cubs fans!

    Merry Christmas, Cubs fans!

    To all of our friends and readers who celebrate the holiday, Merry Christmas! I'm going to give you all a gift. To anyone who's given up their Christmas to be there for others, I salute and thank you for your dedication.
    Rockets agree to contract with point guard Austin Rivers

    Rockets agree to contract with point guard Austin Rivers

    The Rockets' next eight games come against teams with legitimate playoff hopes, starting with the Thunder on Christmas Day. Rivers wore No. 25 with the New Orleans Hornets-later rebranded the New Orleans Pelicans-and the Los Angeles Clippers .
  • KGF box office collection Day 3: The Yash starrer outshines SRK’s Zero

    KGF box office collection Day 3: The Yash starrer outshines SRK’s Zero

    In Karnataka, KGF earned Rs 12 crore, in Nizam/Andhra Rs 2.50 crore, in Tamil Nadu Rs 1.25 crore and Rs 50 Lakhs in Kerala. KGF , which released across 2,460 screens all over the country, was produced on a budget of almost Rs 80 crore.
    Steven Mnuchin calls bank CEOs after Fed interest hike

    Steven Mnuchin calls bank CEOs after Fed interest hike

    The timing of the comments, just before markets opened on Sunday, was also seen as unusual . That's the lowest Canada's benchmark stock index has traded since the summer of 2016.
    Virat Kohli fires a challenge for his side; speaks about MCG pitch

    Virat Kohli fires a challenge for his side; speaks about MCG pitch

    That's all I'll say", Shastri quipped. "As I said, if there is a challenge coming your way, you try and counter it". The performance and form of the Indian batting order have been anything but inspiring all through the year.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.