Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has defended whaling as part of the country’s culture and will strive to revive commercial hunts, am730 reported Wednesday.
The International Court of Justice banned Japanese ships from catching whales in the Antarctic Ocean several months ago but Abe told the Japanese Diet Monday that the government will research whaling and use the results to push for a resumption of commercial operations.
He also said the government will ask the international community to understand why Japan needs to do so, saying that he was sorry non-Japanese did not understand the country’s culture.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has declared this week Whale Week, launching activities Monday with a whale meat feast.
But the government’s insistence on whaling runs counter to a survey by Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun that shows most Japanese seldom eat whale meat.
The Washington Post said whaling was an important source of meat for Japan soon after the second world war, but some think the importance of the industry has been exaggerated and the ban used by politicians to stir up nationalism.
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