Tuesday, Jun 2, 2015Tuesday, Jun 2, 2015

Japanese whaling group intends to resume its hunts

Published on Apr 15, 2014 11:25 AM

TOKYO (REUTERS) - The group that conducts Japan's whaling says it expects to resume scientific whaling in the Antarctic after this year's hunt was cancelled in the wake of an international court ruling ordering a halt to the disputed programme.

The judgment by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) last month was a blow to Japan's decades-old "scientific whaling" in the Southern Ocean, a practice environmentalists condemn, but Tokyo said it would abide by the decision and has cancelled the 2014-2015 hunt.

But court papers filed in the United States by the Institute for Cetacean Research, which, with Kyodo Sempaku, actually carries out the whaling, said they expect to conduct hunts in future seasons - albeit with a modified programme.

In the filing in a Seattle court last week, the two groups sought an injunction against Sea Shepherd, an environmental group that has pursued Japan's whaling ships during their Antarctic hunts over the past few years. They noted that the Japanese government had not granted permits for the next season. "Plaintiffs expect they will be conducting a Southern Ocean research program for subsequent seasons that would be in accord with the ICJ decision," they added, according to the papers, which were obtained by Reuters.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!