Making the annoucement, a Japanese official said Japan abandoning a decades-old campaign to persuade the commission to allow it to hunt whales commercially. But the announcement drew criticism from anti-whaling groups and others, with Australia saying it was “extremely disappointed” and New Zealand regretting the resumption of the “outdated and unnecessary” commercial killing of the ocean mammals.
Japan’s commercial whaling will be limited to its own territorial waters and its exclusive economic zone. From July 2019, after the withdrawal comes into effect on June 30, Japan will conduct commercial whaling within Japan’s territorial sea and its exclusive economic zone, and will cease the take of whales in the Antarctic Ocean/the Southern Hemisphere. The whaling will be conducted in accordance with international law and within the catch limits calculated in accordance with the method adopted by the IWC to avoid negative impact on cetacean resources.