The BBC reports that Japan has announced that it plans to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) from July 2019 and to resume commercial whaling thereafter. Japan has argued that the IWC was not committed to one of its stated goals; that of supporting sustainable commercial whaling. Japan argues that the eating of whale meat is a cultural tradition, despite the fact that the bulk of the nation only started eating it after World War Two and currently only 0.1% of the population consumes it.
The government spokesman announcing the plans stated that commercial whaling would be restricted to Japanese territorial waters and economic zones. This would imply that the Japanese whaling fleet will stop hunting in Antarctic waters and the southern hemisphere.
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