Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe says the country is looking to restart whaling in the Antarctic.
In March, the UN’s International Court of Justice banned Tokyo from hunting whales saying it was not carrying out scientific research as it claimed but that it was commercial whaling in disguise.
Abe said although he respected international law, it was necessary to continue scientific whaling to get data on whaling stocks so that eventually they could restart commercial whaling. He said Japan would submit a new, more scientific research plan for future whaling.
The Japanese commissioner to the International Whaling Commission, Jori Morishita, accused other countries of imposing their cultural values on Japan.
“Even if some countries think that whales are special or sacred, as long as whales are sustainably utilised, that view should not be imposed on others who like to utilise the whale resources,” he said.
The annual hunt in the Southern Ocean is particularly contentious, with often violent confrontations between whalers and protesters.
The Japanese government has declared this week “whale week” and is encouraging the Japanese to eat more whale and know that it is a part of their culture.