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Japan Announces Pullout From Whaling Commission, To Resume Commercial Hunting

Three minke whales lie dead on the deck of a Japanese factory ship in the Southern Ocean. (file phto)

Japan has decided to pull out of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) as it looks to restart commercial whaling.

A government spokesman said on December 26 after the Cabinet decision was taken that the resumption of commercial whaling operations would be limited to Japan’s territorial water and exclusive economic zone.

'We have decided to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission in order to resume commercial whaling in July next year," government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

The Japanese government had proposed lifting a 32-year ban on whaling at an IWC annual conference in September, but the move was rejected.

Despite the ban, Japan kills some 450 whales annually for what it calls scientific research whaling.

Tokyo claims that most whale species are not endangered and that whale is part of its cultural cuisine.

Based on reporting by Reuters, CNN, and dpa.