Australia's Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said Sunday he was hopeful the government would win its case against Japan's "scientific" whaling which begins this week in the International Court of Justice.
Dreyfus, who will be in The Hague to lead the case for the final stretch of the three-week hearing which begins on June 26, said both sides had filed very lengthy legal and factual arguments with the court.
The upcoming hearings mark the final stage of proceedings initiated by Australia in 2010 and the government is hopeful of a decision before the start of the next southern hemisphere whaling season towards the end of the year.
This year the whaling mission off Antarctica logged a "record low" catch of the mammals, with the Japanese government blaming "unforgivable sabotage" by activists.
In a statement, Dreyfus said more than 10,000 whales have been killed since 1988 as a result of Japan's whaling programmes in the Southern Ocean.
Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, became on Tuesday the nation's first municipality to adopt an ordinance allowing it to issue certificates recognizing same-sex relationships as being "equivalent to marriage." (Japan Times)
In the wake of the suspicious crash of a Germanwings jet, the transport ministry is moving quickly to require all Japanese airlines to have two crew members in the cockpit at all times during flights. (Asahi)
The Japanese government said Monday it will send up to 142,600 personnel in emergency teams within 72 hours to 10 prefectures that are expected to suffer tremendous damage in the event of a major earthquake at the Nankai Trough off Japan's Pacific coast. (Jiji Press)
A third-party committee investigating the deaths of 11 patients who received laparoscopic surgery at the Chiba Cancer Center said Monday that at least seven patients received treatment without prior ethical screening despite the extremely difficult nature of the operations, which were not covered by public health insurance. (The Japan News)
Public prosecutors demanded Tuesday that former Aum Supreme Truth cult member Katsuya Takahashi, 56, be sentenced to life in prison for his roles in the 1995 deadly sarin nerve gas attack on Tokyo's subway system and other crimes by the doomsday cult. (The Japan News)
An elementary school teacher in Hyuga, Miyazaki Prefecture, has been arrested after it was discovered that he had lied to a newspaper reporter regarding the presence of a foreign substance in a rice ball ("onigiri") lunch that he purchased at a convenience store. (Japan Today)
In the first application in Tokyo of a law that seeks to restrict the distribution of sexually explicit content for revenge purposes, police on Friday announced the arrest of a 50-year-old male for releasing illicit images of his former girlfriend, reports the Sankei Shimbun (March 27). (Tokyo Reporter)