Shinzo Abe's plan to resume commercial whaling called "rubbish" and "senseless"
Despite the international ban that took hold in 1986 and years of ensuing controversy over its "scientific" hunting, prime minister of Japan Shinzo Abe has sparked outrage across the world by announcing his intent to restart the nation's commercial whaling industry.
"I want to aim for the resumption of commercial whaling by conducting whaling research in order to obtain scientific data indispensable for the management of whale resources," Abe told a parliamentary commission on Monday. "To that end, I will step up efforts further to get understanding from the international community."
Since the international ban, governed by the International Whaling Commission (IWC), went into effect nearly three decades ago, Japan has been allowed to hunt select whale species within its territorial waters and conduct what are categorized as "research" whaling hunts in international waters, done mostly in the South Pacific and Southern Ocean.
Abe's comments to revitalize a true return to industrial whaling, however, was met with immediate condemnation by conservationists and governments.