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Image: Peter Flood

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Japanese whalers aim to continue whale hunts despite court ban

The group that conducts Japan’s whaling says it expects to resume its hunts in the Antarctic after this year’s hunt was cancelled following an order by an international court.

In the summer of 2013, the Australian government took Japan to the court in a bid to expose the true nature Japanese so-called ‘scientific’ research programme under which it has previously killed over 7,000 in the Antarctica. During the hearing, representatives from the Australian government outlined how useless Japanese whaling is in scientific terms.

At the end of March, a judgment in the case was delivered by the International Court of Justice (ICJ ), the principal judicial arm of the United Nations. The court condemned Japanese ‘scientific whaling’ in the Antarctic region and ordered it to stop. 

Tokyo said it would abide by the decision and has cancelled the 2014-2015 hunt, but Japanese Fisheries minister, Yoshimasa Hayashi told a recent meeting near the Japanese parliamentary building that they must protect the country’s whale eating culture. Whale meat was served to guests at the meeting, who shouted ‘whale!’ as they pledged to continue hunting.