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Environmental Studies

Japan's Whaling Problem



Why is Japan continuing JARPA?




    Diverting Attention

    Japanese Pride


    The US


    Australian Citizens

    Japanese Citizens

   Sea Shepherd


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Japan's Whaling Problem

Tue Q. Tran

The seafaring nation of Japan has a long history of whaling, dating back as far as the 8th century.  Although the nation has a history of whaling, most of the whaling actually took place along a few minor coastal towns, thus whales never played any major part in the traditional Japanese diet. However in the poverty-stricken years following World War II, whale meat became a major part of the Japanese diet owing to its cheap prices. Whale meat consumption peaked in 1962 and has been declining since.

In 1986, the International Whaling Commission imposed a complete moratorium on whaling practices around the world in an effort to preserve declining whale populations, with exceptions made for aboriginal whaling and scientific whaling. The very next year, Japan began its scientific whaling program, JARPA (Japanese Whaling Research Program in Antarctic). The aim of this project is to explore this issue from the perspective of the pro-whaling parties as well as the opposition, and to examine the backlash from other nations and citizen organizations.

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Humpback Whale

Last updated:  5/7/2008


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