Japan leaves IWC to start commercial whaling
NHK -- Jun 30
Japan withdrew from the International Whaling Commission, or IWC, on Sunday. The country will resume commercial whaling the next day.

Japan joined the IWC in 1951, supporting its pursuit of sustainable whaling by protecting the number of whales.

After Japan suspended commercial whaling in 1988 in line with an IWC moratorium, it has been unable to find common ground with anti-whaling countries.

Japan announced its intention to withdraw last December, saying it was no longer possible to resume commercial whaling under IWC rules.

Several whaling ships are ready to leave the western port city of Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, on Monday to start whaling in the Pacific.

And in the northern city of Kushiro, Hokkaido Prefecture, five vessels plan to leave for whaling in nearby waters.

Japan says it will conduct commercial whaling only in its territorial waters and exclusive economic zones, hunting minke and other species that have large enough numbers, within quotas set by the IWC-adopted method.

Environmental activists are criticizing the resumption in light of resource conservation and animal protection.

The Japanese government plans to gain support from the international community by stressing that hunting will be done within the limit to preserve the whale population.

これまで調査の名目で行われていた日本のクジラ漁が来月1日から商業捕鯨に切り替わります。期待の声も上がる一方で、かつて捕鯨船に乗っていた人の見方は慎重です。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
Jul 18
Ornately decorated floats paraded through Japan's ancient capital Kyoto on Wednesday at the climax of the annual Gion Festival. (NHK)
Jul 18
Johnny & Associates Inc., one of the most powerful talent agencies in Japan, is suspected of having pressured commercial broadcasting television stations to stop inviting three former members of popular boy band SMAP on their shows after they left the office in 2017, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday. (Kyodo)
Jul 18
A Japanese policeman stabbed another officer by mistake during training when he used a real knife instead of a replica. (NHK)
Jul 18
Tokyo DisneySea will launch a new flight simulator attraction Tuesday that promises to make visitors feel as if they are soaring over famous landmarks such as the Great Wall of China and the Egyptian pyramids. (Japan Times)
Jul 17
School-related matters led to more suicides last year among youth aged between 10 and 19 than any other issue, the government said Tuesday in its annual paper on the topic. (Japan Times)
Jul 17
Over two weeks of cloudy and rainy days in Tokyo and nearby areas has resulted in higher vegetable prices and sluggish sales of summer clothing. (Japan Times)
Jul 17
Former Emperor Akihito briefly suffered from cerebral anemia last week, forcing him to postpone his regular health checkup, the Imperial Household Agency said Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Jul 17
Toyota Motor Corp. and Japan's space exploration agency said Tuesday they have signed a three-year agreement to jointly research and develop a rover to be sent to the Moon in 2029. (Kyodo)
Jul 16
The Tokyo metropolitan region experienced another cloudy and rainy day on Monday, marking the 18th straight day in which the country’s capital has seen less than three hours of sunshine per day. (Japan Today)
Jul 16
The sounds of chanting men carrying huge, decorated floats signaled the climax of the Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival. Each float weighs more than one ton. (NHK)