Japanese whaling

It’s no secret that you can buy whale meat in Japan. It’s served in schools to young children and even offered up 16 different ways at this shop in Tokyo. In fact, the Japanese have had a history of whaling that dates back to the 12th century. In recent history, however, Japan’s whaling program has been condemned by the international community and its practice of consuming whale meat proven unhealthy. But both whaling and the eating of whale meat, whether you agree with it or not, may be a thing of the past as a result of a recent ruling by the International Court of Justice.

On Monday, the ICJ ruled that Japan’s whaling program is not being conducted for scientific purposes and ordered a temporary halt to the program. For decades, Japanese whaling vessels have been killing minke whales in the Arctic under the 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, which permits lethal research.

Australia brought the case against Japan at the highest court of the United Nations in May 2010, arguing that the country’s whaling program was being carried out for commercial purposes. Japan denied the accusations, claiming they were an attempt to impose the world’s cultural norms on their country. However, on Monday, the International Court of Justice sided with Australia, ruling that the research conducted by Japanese whalers was not proportionate to the number of whales killed.

A summary of the March 31 judgement states, “In light of the fact that JARPA II has been going on since 2005 and has involved the killing of about 3,600 minke whales, the Court considers that the scientific output to date is limited.”

A complete summary of the judgement can be found here.

Source: Washington PostICJ
Image: Wikipedia (Grolltech)