Japan to insist on legitimacy of whaling program
Japan will defend its whaling program in the Antarctic Ocean at the upcoming international court hearings on Australia’s case against Japan’s so-called research whaling, and will insist at the International Court of Justice in The Hague that its whaling program is legitimate. They claim it is aimed at scientific research purposes and therefore does not violate an international moratorium against commercial whaling as Australia claims. The oral hearings, which will be held between June 26 and July 16, are the last phase in legal proceedings before the court makes its decision on the legality of Japan’s whaling — possibly by the end of this year.
Japan will not be able to hunt whales in Antarctic waters should the court decide against the country’s whaling. Australia brought the case against Japan in 2010, and the ICJ has since received written submissions from both parties. New Zealand will also participate in the proceedings to state its opinion on the matter.