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Antarctic minke whale alongside Japanese whaling ship.
Antarctic minke whale alongside Japanese whaling ship. Photo © Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

Japanese whale hunting company, Kyodo Senpaku, is now promoting the sale of cosmetic products made from slaughtered whales via their vending machine stores.

Advertised as luxury items, the company are marketing the grim cosmetics in an attempt to increase interest in and profit from whale meat and products, stating that shoppers can be ‘beautiful’ and ‘do more than just eat whales!’.

Customers are being enticed to buy facial soap, beauty essence, aging cream and other products that contain whale at special in-store launch events.

Earlier this year Kyodo Senpaku announced it would be opening four of the unmanned Kujira (whale) vending machine stores selling whale meat for sashimi, deep-fried whale cutlets, steaks, and other frozen and canned processed foods.

In a desperate bid to increase sales, informative panels at the Kujira Stores will also push out misinformation to visitors about the need to kill whales because they consume large amounts fish and squid, and so somehow unbalance the marine ecosystem. This is, of course, untrue.

The reality is that we need to increase whale populations not kill them because of the important role they play in keeping the ocean healthy. A healthy ocean would increase fish and squid populations too as well as help fight the effects of climate breakdown.

Whale hunting is also cruel. Much of the fin whale meat from hunts in Iceland ends up in Japan and our work with partners in Iceland recently helped expose the suffering whales endure, leading to the government there publishing an alarming new report that reveals some whales take up to two hours to die after being shot by grenade tipped harpoons.

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