The Interesting Industry of Japanese Whaling Essay

Decent Essays
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
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“Japan joined the International Whaling Commission in 1951; however, Japan would later be criticized by environmental organizations and anti-whaling nations for making heavy use of Article VIII of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling which states that “Notwithstanding anything contained in this Convention any Contracting Government may grant to any of its nationals a special permit authorizing that national to kill, take and treat whales for purposes of scientific research subject to such restrictions as to number and subject to such other conditions as the Contracting Government thinks fit, and the killing, taking, and treating of whales in accordance with the provisions of this Article shall be exempt from the operation of this Convention.”

As the commercial viability of large competing whaling fleets was diminished due to restrictions, six Japanese whaling companies agreed to merge into one in July 1975. The government declared support for the new company, with Prime Minister Shintaro Abe saying, “We ask that the flame of the whaling industry will not be put out and that you do your best to secure Japan's food supplies. The government will be doing all it can to actively support your efforts.” Eventually, the company merged with the Japan Whaling Association and Institute of Cetacean Research to create the Institute of Cetacean Research in 1987.
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