Japan decides to withdraw from International Whaling Commission (IWC)

Published: December 26, 2018

Japan has decided to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and will resume commercial whaling in July 2019. As per officials, leaving the IWC means Japanese whalers will be able to resume hunting in Japanese coastal waters of minke and other whales currently protected by the IWC. However, Japan will not be able to continue the so-called scientific research hunts in the Antarctic that it has been exceptionally allowed as an IWC member under the Antarctic Treaty. The withdrawal also means Japan joins Iceland and Norway in openly defying the IWC’s ban on commercial whale hunting. Tokyo argues that whaling is an important part of Japan’s traditions, and the withdrawal would allow fishermen to pass country’s rich whaling culture onto the next generation. The IWC, established in 1946 to conserve and manage the world’s whale and cetacean population, introduced a moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986.

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