April 22, 2019 at 4:00 am

Japan considers leaving IWC to resume commercial whale hunts

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TOKYO (AP) — Japan is considering leaving the International Whaling Commission to resume commercial hunts after unsuccessfully campaigning for decades to gain support for the cause.

The Fisheries Agency said Thursday officials haven‘t made a final decision but are considering the step.

Japan‘s request for a resumption of commercial whaling was most recently denied at the IWC meeting in September. IWC imposed a ban on commercial whaling in the 1980s due to dwindling stocks.

Japan has switched to what it calls research whaling, and says stocks have recovered enough that commercial hunts should resume.

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Japanese whaling officials the whaling organization is supposed to pursue sustainability but has become an anti-whaling body.

Japan cut back on its catch after a 2014 international court ruling.