Policy Brief by Veronika Bílková: Free Willy! Japan Resumes Commercial Whale Hunting

Researcher of the Institute of International Relations Veronika Bílková is considering the problematic side of renewal of commercial whale hunting.

In late 2018, Japan announced that it would withdraw from the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling and leave the International Whaling Commission. It did so due to its disapproval of the ban on commercial whaling, which has been in force for the Parties of the Convention since 1986, and to its decision to resume whalle hunt since the summer of 2019. This reflection first gives an overview of the evolution and the structure of the international legal regime related to whaling and of the history of Japan’s relationship with this regime. It then shows that the Japan’s attempt to justify the resumption of commercial whaling by the principle of sustainable use of living marine resources cannot be successful for both practical and normative reasons.

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