TOKYO: Japan’s fisheries minister said yesterday the country will not stop hunting whales, despite fierce criticism from other countries and clashes at sea with militant conservationists.
“I don’t think there will be any kind of an end to whaling by Japan,” Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said.
He said the criticism of the practice is “a cultural attack, a kind of prejudice against Japanese culture”. Japan uses a loophole in a global ban on whaling that allows for lethal scientific research on the mammals, but it makes no secret of the fact that the mammals end up on menus.
Norway and Iceland also hunt whales in defiance of a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling. Australia and New Zealand have voiced outrage over Japan’s annual expeditions in the Southern Ocean, which the International Whaling Commission considers a sanctuary for the ocean giants. AFP