Japan will never stop its annual hunt for whales, a government minister has reportedly said, despite recent clashes between whalers and environmental organizations.
"I don't think there will be any kind of an end for whaling by Japan," Yoshimasa Hayashi, the Japanese minister for agriculture, forestry and fisheries, said in an interview with the French news service Agence France-Presse on Tuesday.
He argued that Japan has "a long tradition and culture of whaling," taking once again a pro-whaling position.
"In some countries they eat dogs, like Korea. In Australia they eat kangaroos," he was cited as saying. "We don't eat those animals, but we don't stop them from doing that because we understand that's their culture."
The interview comes just after an environmental group tried to physically block whalers - a US judge has declared their actions as "piratery".
Japan's whaling began in the 12th century, but in modern times it changed drastically. Japan maintains that annual whaling is sustainable and necessary for scientific study and management of whale stocks, despite not providing any valid scientific evidence to support this; they just sugarcoat it as "research". Many countries (especially nearby Australia) have been especially vehement against this practice, but the Japanese seem adamant to continue this practice. What do you think? Is this a traditional, cultural and legit practice, or is it nothing more than whale slaughtering, hidden under a big sign that says "research"?