Japan resumed Antarctic whale hunt despite ICJ ruling
The International Court of Justice ruled in March 2104 that Japan’s decades-old whale hunt in the Antarctic should stop, prompting Tokyo to cancel the bulk of its whaling for the 2014/2015 season.
The order from the United Nations court was binding and could not be appealed. It was handed down after Australia brought a case against Japan, presenting evidence that the country had slaughtered more than 10,000 whales since 1989 under the pretext of scientific research, in breach of international conventions to preserve marine mammals.
But the Japanese Fisheries Agency had notified the International Whaling Commission that Japan would resume whaling in the 2015/2016 season under a revised plan. This news outraged the international community.
The plan, which called for cutting annual minke whale catches by two-thirds to 333, was scientifically reasonable, the agency said in a document filed with the IWC.
Japan began what it called scientific whaling in 1987, a year after an international whaling moratorium took effect.
Japan has long maintained that most whale species are not endangered and that eating whale is part of its food culture.