Japan once labeled its whaling vessels with prominent “Research” tags. The country will resume commercial whaling hunts in 2019. Here, the whaling ships Yushin Maru (right) and Yushin Maru No. 2 are seen before leaving for the Antarctic Ocean for a whale hunt in 2015. In the future, Japanese whaling ships will not operate in the Antarctic.
Japan is withdrawing from an international group that bans commercial whaling, saying it will resume commercial hunts for the first time in 30 years next July. Japan will leave the International Whaling Commission, which put a moratorium on commercial whaling in the 1980s.
“Japan argues that it has a long tradition of whaling, even though Japanese today eat very little whale meat,” NPR’s Anthony Kuhn reports from Tokyo.
In a notable shift, Japan also said it will no longer conduct controversial hunts in the Antarctic Ocean — where…