According to the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry of Japan, this year was a record low for the whaling fleet, with only 103 Antarctic minke whales and no fin whales caught for its "research whaling" program. Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi blames the "unforgivable sabotage" by activists, particularly by the militant environmentalist group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan (MAFF) will be setting up its renowned Japan Pavilion at the International Boston Seafood Show 2013 (IBSS). The event is North America’s largest seafood trade show, which is taking place on March 10-12, 2013 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said that there will probably no end to whaling in Japan, in spite of the sometimes violent objection from conservationists. He believes that the criticism of the whaling practice is “a cultural attack, a kind of prejudice against Japanese culture”.
The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry has learned that a suspected spy, a former first secretary of the Chinese embassy in Tokyo, was one of the attendees in gatherings hosted by the ministry in relation to the promotion of agricultural exports to China. According to the ministry, seven people, which included executives from a Chinese state-owned corporation, visited the country from Jan. 26 to Jan. 31, 2011, a month after then Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Senior Vice Minister Nobutaka Tsutsui traveled to China to sign a memorandum with the corporation. The entire affair saw the spending of 2 million yen (approx. $22,700) by the ministry.
The cyber-attack that compromised more than 3,000 official documents from the farm ministry used a special malware program to get and transmit the information, according to government sources. HTran, a connection bouncer program often used in cyber attacks to steal information, is suspected to be the malware used by whoever hacked into the system, containing documents from the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry.
Government sources revealed that a number of highly confidential files have been stolen through a cyber attack on the computers of the Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Ministry, including documents related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact negotiations. Investigations revealed that the attack came from overseas, possibly from South Korea, according to sources.