Japan Slaughters 30 Minke Whales Despite ICJ Ruling

Japan has slaughtered thirty minke whales in its first annual hunt of the season, this despite an International Court Justice (ICJ) ruling earlier this year that ordered a halt of its expedition in the Antarctic.

Last March, the court rejected Japan’s contention that their JARPA II whaling programme in the Antarctic was scientific, not commercial. The decision was ruled on a suit brought by Australia and the New Zealand governments, which described the hunt as “ruse” to dodge prohibition against commercial killing. Although an international moratorium on commercial whaling has been in place since 1987, Japan still continued to hunt the whales under the pretense of scientific research. The court ruling found that the whale hunt in the Antarctic was not strictly for scientific purposes, and that is was a cover for commercial profit.

The ICJ ordered Japan to withdraw all whale hunting permits and licenses in the Antarctic, but the annual hunts along the northern coast, and in the northern Pacific, where approximately three hundred minke whales are slaughtered each year, were not discussed, nor included in the ruling.

The Japanese Fisheries Agency said that the thirty minke whales that have been killed during this year’s whaling season are part of its “research hunts’ in the northwest Pacific Ocean.

It seems that Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is planning to redesign the country’s scientific whaling research programme in order to have the moratorium on commercial whaling be lifted.

Prime Minister Abe said that he “aimed for the resumption of commercial whaling by conducting whaling research in order to obtain scientific data indispensable for the management of whale resources.”

Japan’s decision to continue the whale hunts is very disappointing news to the Australian and New Zealand governments, who hoped that the ICJ’s decision would eventually put an end to all of Japan’s whaling programs.

New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully said that the “decision of the ICJ laid down clear guidelines for any research whaling activities in the future. As a country that places a high value on its good international citizenship, we hope and expect that Japan will continue to respect the ICJ decision.”

article by Joan Reddy

photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Ineke Bee
Ineke Bee3 years ago

I get so angry when I read about the Japanese and their destructive 'habits'. They are arrogant to the extreme and show no respect for other life on earth. Boycott all Japanese products and goods!

P M.
Dai M3 years ago

Boycott anything japanese!

Amy L.
Amy L3 years ago

Whales should not be killed and eaten by anyone. Japan is not the only community that "hunts" whales but they are a major country and they know better. With all of the radiation and other cancer causing pathogens humans have pumped into the sea why on Earth would anyone want to eat seafood anyway?

Chris Carson
Past Member 3 years ago

This disgrace has gone on long enough!!!

Terry Offord
Terry Offord3 years ago

Lorraine A...... Great logic!! :)

Lorraine Andersen
Lorraine A3 years ago

I hope something can be done. There should be major fines at least. If they were fined, and forced to pay those fines, more than they make selling the whales, they might stop.

Carla van der Meer

The Japanese seem to keep pushing whale meat even though it has fallen from favor in recent years. Time to declare Japanese whaling an act of piracy. They are merely doing it because they CAN.

Nils Anders Lunde
PlsNoMessage se3 years ago


Danuta Watola
Danuta W3 years ago

Thanks for sharing!!

Teresa W.
Teresa W3 years ago

Shocking, Is there a petition?