Tokyo vows to continue cull of humpback whales
By David McNeill in Alaska
Published: 30 May 2007
Japan has vowed to press on and kill 50 humpback whales later this year in defiance of conservationists and anti-whaling nations.
Britain joined New Zealand, Australia and other "like-minded" nations to condemn the plan in Anchorage, Alaska, where the annual conference of the International Whaling Commission opened on Monday.
"This will really adversely affect the image of Japan in our countries, " said New Zealand's Environment minister, Chris Carter.
Japanese whaling ships intend to kill the humpbacks in the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary as part of its "scientific whaling" programme. The ships will also hunt hundreds of minke, sei, sperm and fin whales.
The humpback is classed by most environmentalists as one of the planet's more imperiled species, but not by Japan's Fisheries Agency. "We don't see it as endangered," said Joji Morishita, Tokyo's alternate IWC commissioner. "Our surveys suggest that in some areas humpback stocks are increasing."
More info here: