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Japan defends its whaling before international court

Starting its defence against a whaling case brought by the Australian government, Japan’s legal team has told the UN International Court of Justice that Australia cannot impose its will on other nations and that Australia’s position on whaling is “mistaken, alarmist” and values saving whales more than respecting foreign cultures.

Despite an international ban on commercial whaling, Japan continues to catch whales in the Antarctic by exploiting a loophole that that allows unlimited whaling for scientific research.

Last week, Australian representatives told the court that Japan’s so-called research-based whaling programme was far from scientific, and that its collection of raw data without having in mind a specific scientific question meant that Japan was essentially whaling for commercial reasons.

The hearing continues.