The Interesting Industry of Japanese Whaling Essay

700 Words 3 Pages
If I had one year to learn more about a topic of my choice, I would study about the Japanese whaling industry. Although whale hunting in Japan began in the 12th century, Japan’s involvement in the whaling industry began in the 1890s. The international whaling industry functioned normally until 1925 when the League of Nations called for conservation measures in 1925. This eventually led to the Geneva Convention for the Regulation of Whaling in 1931, which was ignored by Japan and Germany. Instead, as whale catches diminished in coastal waters, Japanese whale hunters looked to Antarctica. This started with the Japanese company Toyo Hogei K.K. purchasing the Norwegian ship Antarctic, renaming it the Tonan Maru.

However, World War II soon followed, and the Japanese whaling industry was reduced to familiar hunting grounds. Whaling was halted in Japan in March 1945 when the Japanese islands were taken by US forces. By November 1945, Japanese whaling stations reopened; however, most whaling ships had been commandeered by the Japanese navy, thus crushing the Japanese whaling industry. The U.S. continued to encourage Japan to continue whaling in order to provide a cheap source of meat. Eventually, the Japanese whaling industry recovered as Japanese whale hunters went back to Antarctica.

During the recovery period, Australian Kenneth Coonan criticized Lieutenant David McCracken, the naval officer who oversaw the first post-war whaling expedition, after observing waste being dumped…