After an international court ordered Japan to stop its whale hunt, the Institute for Cetacean Research, along with Kyodo Sempaku filed for a ruling against conservationist group Sea Shepherd, which has hounded them in their past hunts. The injunction filed in Seattle last week also includes the group’s request to begin their scientific whale hunting again under an adjusted program approved by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
While the groups sought to resume hunts, the Japanese government assured the public it will abide by the decision of the court. In the meantime, it will “carefully analyze the content of the ruling,” according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. He added, “After analyzing what the issues are, the government will come up with a policy course.” Aside from whale hunts, some Japanese fishermen are also involved in small-scale coastal hunting of dolphins, which has earned global criticism when an award-winning documentary in 2009 entitled The Cove depicted the brutal slaughter of the mammals.
When the ICJ ruled for the halt of whale hunting, some analysts opined that Japan would find a way to circumvent the ruling by applying for a new proposal, albeit a tempered version of the previous one. Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson believes the whalers are waiting until the 2015-`2016 season to resume their program. On the other hand, others think Japan will take advantage of the court order to abandon the whaling program that has earned the nation much criticism and with that move, improve its international standing.
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