It seems that after Japan was ordered to stop whale hunts in the Antarctic by the International Court of Justice, the Asian country known for its love of marine products have found a new way to enjoy the meat. Greenpeace Japan has reported that the nation has imported 2,000 tons of the controversial meat from Iceland, in another move that would sure enrage many environmentalists.
A ship carrying a cargo of fin whales were reported to have docked in a port in Osaka to unload the delivery. According to Junichi Sato of Greenpeace Japan, “The ship, named Alma, arrived on May 7 and we were informed in advance that it would carry whale meat to be unloaded at Osaka port.” While they remain indignant at the move they labeled as continued defiance of worldwide opinion on whale meat, what bothered the group is the sheer size of the cargo. “We don’t know why Japan had to import such huge volume of whale meat,” which he said is as big as two-third’s of the nation’s annual consumption. He reiterated that their group “oppose such shipments.”
On the other hand, the shipment, which came from Iceland, is anticipated to cause another furor for the continued slaying of whales. Both Iceland and Norway have been under great criticism from the international audience for continuously hunting whales despite an international moratorium. Japan, on the other hand, hunts whale under the cover of “scientific research,” which many suspect is only a disguise for actual commercial hunting. In March, the UN ICJ has ordered Japan to stop hunting whales in the Southern Ocean and Japan complied but left some vessels in the waters to do “non-lethal research.” Japan has also come under further criticism after a fleet of whale hunting ships left the northern part of the country to continue hunts in the Pacific, which was not covered by the ICJ ruling. Many suspect that while the demand for whale meat has decreased in the past years, the government continues the hunts to protect vested interests in the whaling industry.
[via Bangkok Post]