The International Whaling Commission (IWC) determined the end of commercial whaling, through an international moratorium that became effective in the 1985-1986 season but allows it to carry out scientific studies and Japan signed it.
Japan continued the capture alleging scientific purposes until in 2014 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) dismantled the argument and ordered the Japanese authorities to end the activity.
Hunting was halted but restarted the following year under the umbrella of a new Japanese science program.
Japan maintains that the objective of capturing these whales is to contribute to the management of maritime resources based on the analysis of the content of their stomachs, the results of which are transmitted to the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
Various organizations for the defense of cetaceans and several countries consider that Japan is dishonestly using the exception of the 1986 moratorium for commercial purposes.
The consumption of whales has a long history in Japan, a fishing country where cetaceans have been hunted for centuries. The whaling industry grew after World War II, bringing animal protein to the inhabitants of the country.
However, the demand for whale meat by Japanese consumers has decreased considerably in recent years, so that, with the exception of professionals in the sector, there is doubt about the meaning of scientific missions.
Although whales in Japan are officially caught for scientific purposes, their meat is often served in shops and restaurants.
With information from: