MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti) – Japanese representatives at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) conference have sought international backing for a resumption of whale hunting for scientific purposes despite a UN court ban on the practice, the statement by the head of the delegation Joji Morishita said.
"The court judgment only says that Japan should revoke existing authorization or a permit for its [previous hunting activities], not the other special permit activities," Morishita said on Wednesday in the Slovenian city of Portoroz.
The International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986. Japan, however, has continued to hunt the creatures for what it explains is "scientific research", which is exempt from the ban, up until March this year when the UN's International Court of Justice ruled that the country should halt its scientific whaling program for one year.
Earlier in September, Japan announced its plans to resume whale hunting in 2015. Japan's plan has been met with dissatisfaction, particularly by the Australian delegation. "Lethal scientific research is simply not necessary," Australia's commissioner Michael Johnson said. This point of view is supported by animal protection groups.
The IWC is an international organization set up under the terms of 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, signed by almost 90 governments. The Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, France and the United States were among the initial signatory states.