Agriculture, Fisheries and Forest
Japan and the Management of Whales
November 13, 2019
1. Japan's basic position on whales and whaling
Japan, as a country putting great importance on the sustainable use of marine resources including Cetaceans, acceded to the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling(ICRW) in 1951. For over 30 years, Japan has made constructive efforts to promote the governance of the management of whale resources in accordance with the objects and purposes of the ICRW, namely 'to provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry'. Nevertheless, although scientific evidence have confirmed that certain whale species/stocks of whales are abundant, those Member States that focus exclusively on the protection of whales, while ignoring the other stated objective of the ICRW, refused to agree to take any tangible steps towards reaching a common position that would ensure the sustainable management of whale resources. At the IWC meeting in September 2018, as can be seen from the rejection of Japan's proposal, orderly development of the whaling industry which is clearly mentioned in the Convention was not taken into account at all during the deliberations, and it unveiled the fact that it is not possible in the IWC even to seek the coexistence of States with different views. Consequently, Japan has been led to make the decision to withdrew from ICRW.
- Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary (English / Japanese (Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet Website)) (December 26, 2018)
- A History of Efforts to fulfill the international Whaling Commission's Dual Responsibility (English (PDF) / French (PDF))
- "Whale and Whaling" (Fisheries agency) English / Spanish / French (PDF)
- Whaling Affairs (Fisheries agency Website)
- Background and major points of the Japan's proposal for IWC Reform (PDF)
- Proposal for IWC Reform (PDF)
2. Japan's sustainable whaling
Japan conducts sustainable whaling, while managing resources in sustainable manner based on scientific evidence. Please see the link (PDF)for Japan’s sustainable whaling.
Please see the link (PDF)for release of reserved quotas.
Basic information about the Management of Whales
- FAQ on Whaling (PDF)
- Report of the IWC Scientific Committee in 2019 (Pleace see page 85 for Japan's contribution to SC.）(PDF)
- Letter to the editor of Washington Post by the Press Secretary Mr. Osuga (PDF)
- Letter to the editor of Los Angeles times by Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles Mr. Chiba (PDF)
- Letter to the editor of New York times by the Press Secretary Mr. Osuga (PDF)
- Implementation of New Scientific Whale Research Program in the western North Pacific(NEWREP-NP)
- Implementation of the NEW Scientific Whale Research Program in the Antarctic Ocean(NEWREP-A)
- Japanese Government's request to the United Nations regarding Paul Watson, former president of Sea Shepard's participation in an event held at the UN headquarters