The Straits Times
Published on Feb 26, 2013

Japan will not stop whaling, says fisheries minister


TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's fisheries minister said on Tuesday the country will not stop hunting whales, despite fierce criticism from other countries and violent clashes at sea with militant conservationists.

"I don't think there will be any kind of an end for whaling by Japan," Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told AFP in an interview.

Mr Hayashi, who took the ministerial post overseeing the country's whaling programmes in December, said the criticism of the practice is "a cultural attack, a kind of prejudice against Japanese culture".

Japan uses a loophole in an international ban on whaling that allows for lethal scientific research on the mammals, but it makes no secret of the fact that the mammals ultimately end up on menus.