TOKYO (dpa) – Japan plans to resume what it calls research whaling in the Antarctic despite a resolution by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) demanding that Tokyo seek international approval, the government said Friday.
At the end of its biennial conference in Slovenia on Thursday, the IWC passed a resolution ordering Tokyo to seek approval for any resumption of whaling in the Southern Ocean.
“We will make preparations so we can start new research whaling in the Antarctic in fiscal 2015,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference. “It’s extremely regrettable” that the resolution was adopted, Suga said.
Japan cancelled its annual whale hunt in the Antarctic after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ruled in March that it contravenes a 1986 moratorium on whale hunting.
In 1987, Japan officially halted commercial whaling, but since then the country has conducted “research whaling” under what critics argue is a loophole in the IWC. Critics have accused the country of conducting its annual hunt for commercial purposes.