Japan has announced it’s intention to resume commercial whaling in July of 2019 after withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Officials say it’s because eating whales is part of the country’s culture.
A government spokesperson, Yoshihide Suga said that commercial whaling would be restricted to Japanese waters and economic zones, which means the country will stop hunting in Antarctic waters, as well as the Southern Hemisphere.
The statement from Japan accused the IWC of not being committed enough to supporting sustainable commercial whaling, and said the organisation focuses only on the aim of conservation numbers.
Australia released a statement saying they were “extremely disappointed” by Japan’s decision and explained they remained “resolutely opposed to all forms of commercial and so-called ‘scientific’ whaling”.
Greenpeace Japan has asked the government to reconsider saying that the announcement is “out of step” with the rest of the world.