Photo by Kazuhiro Nogi
Hunting whales in Japanese culture can be traced as far back as 10,000 B.C and is not only a staple food but also one of great cultural significance. After an 115 day hunting trip, 333 whales were killed and 230 were pregnant females which has caused international condemnation to fall unto Japan. Commercial whaling was banned in Japan in 1986 but every year, expeditions hunt under the guise of performing scientific research and in this case, the Japanese claimed that they were targeting so many pregnant whales to determine the age that whales reached sexual maturity in order to show that the whale population is healthy enough for regular hunting. Typically, only a small part of the whale gets placed under research while the rest is sold or distributed to markets and schools to encourage consumption. Australian environmentalists are upset because the Japanese may have hunted and killed whales inside of an Australian whale sanctuary and according to Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt, “There is no scientific justification for lethal research.”
In 2014 the International Court of Justice ruled that Japan should stop all hunting and yet Japan has persisted in doing so.
Questions: How should the international community convince Japan to halt whale hunting? Would it even be possible to get Japan to stop?