Ja­pan to re­sume whal­ing in the Antarc­tic

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Ja­pan has an­nounced it is to re­sume whal­ing in the Antarc­tic. The new pro­gramme, which is set to start in 2016, goes against an In­ter­na­tional Court of Jus­tice (ICJ) rul­ing that Ja­pan cease all whal­ing. The UK gov­ern­ment, along with the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment and a mul­ti­tude of en­vi­ron­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions, has crit­i­cised the de­ci­sion. The Ja­panese gov­ern­ment in­sists it has ac­counted for the ICJ rul­ing - and the years of as­so­ci­ated in­ter­na­tional wran­gling - and will only catch 333 whales rather than the pre­vi­ous quota of 1,000. It con­tin­ues to in­sist the pro­gramme is for ‘sci­en­tific pur­poses’. A spokesper­son for the UK en­vi­ron­ment min­istry, De­fra, said: “We are deeply dis­ap­pointed with Ja­pan’s de­ci­sion to restart whal­ing in the Southern Ocean. This un­der­mines the global ban on com­mer­cial whal­ing which the UK strongly sup­ports.” Ja­pan was banned from whal­ing af­ter Aus­tralia won a case at the ICJ rul­ing that its ‘sci­en­tific’ pro­gramme was not sci­en­tific at all.

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