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AKIPRESS.COM - Japan is canceling its next Antarctic whaling hunt for the first time in 25 years, just days after the UN's International Court of Justice ordered an end to the controversial practice, SBS reported.
“We have decided to cancel research whaling for the fiscal year starting in April because of the recent ruling,” a fisheries agency official said on Thursday.
But he added that they “plan to go ahead with research whaling in other areas as scheduled”, including the northern Pacific.
On Monday, the Hague-based ICJ issued a landmark ruling that found the Antarctic program was a commercial activity disguised as science, and said Tokyo must revoke existing whaling licenses.
Tokyo has used a legal loophole in the 1986 ban on commercial whaling that allowed it to continue slaughtering the mammals, ostensibly so it could gather scientific data. Japan also has a coastal whaling program that is not covered by the ban.
The next Antarctic hunt would have started in late 2014. The most recent finished last month.