Japan to continue to push resumption of commercial whaling

Japan to continue to push resumption of commercial whaling
Hideki Moronuki, Japan's senior fisheries negotiator of Fisheries Agency and Alternate Commissioner to the International Whaling Commission (IWC), speaks during a press conference in Tokyo, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. Moronuki said that if Japan gives up to achieve sustainable use of whales, the country could face serious difficulties in the future like food security, after members of the IWC defeated a Japanese proposal to reinstate commercial whaling at a meeting in Brazil earlier this month. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

TOKYO (AP) — A senior Japanese whaling negotiator says Tokyo will continue to seek a resumption of commercial whaling despite the recent defeat of its proposal by the International Whaling Commission.

Senior fisheries negotiator Hideki Moronuki said Thursday the IWC should represent both conservation interests and the sustainable use of resources, and not act as if it were an anti-whaling group.

IWC imposed a ban on commercial whaling in the 1980s because of dwindling stocks. Japan has instead conducted what it calls research whaling, and says stocks have recovered enough that commercial hunts should resume. Its proposal was defeated at an IWC meeting in Brazil on Sept. 14.

Japan has hunted whales for centuries. It has reduced its catch following international protests and declining demand for whale meat at home.