Today, after a hiatus of one year, Japan’s whaling fleet has set out for the Antarctic for resuming a hunt for the gigantic mammals. Japan has carried on with the project in spite of an international ban. This action of the island nation has prompted criticism from Australia and even the United States, one of the key allies of Japan.

Japan has plans of taking more than 300 whales before the completion of the hunt next year. Also, it has aimed at taking around 4,000 during the coming 12 years. The nation has set all these targets as part of a scientific program organized for studying whales.

Last year, we saw the ICJ or International Court of Justice ruling that Japan must stop whaling amid the Southern Ocean. Then, in April this year, an IWC (International Whaling Commission) panel announced that Japan has not yet proved that there’s a need of killing whales.

In spite of all these oppositions, Tokyo has decided to retool its plans for the 2015/2016 season for reducing the population of minke whales. Tomoaki Nakao, who currently adorns the position of the mayor of Shimonoseki, regrettably said that in 2014 they couldn’t take whales due to the ruling made by the ICJ. Here, it must be mentioned that Shimonoseki, other than being a part of the election district of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is also home to Japan’s whaling fleet.

For Nakao, there cannot be a more pleasant day than the day Japan has resumed its whaling operations after a one-year hiatus. The ships sailed away just before noon when the sky had a beautiful clear blue color. Officials and family members of the crew members were present at the shore when the fleet set out. Reports are suggesting that the hunt will continue until March next year.

Since a long time Japan has been saying that the majority of the whale species cannot be tagged as endangered; it has also been emphasizing that eating whales is very much a part of the island nation’s food culture. However, it should be noted here that most people in Japan no longer eat this meat. Japan started scientific whaling way back in 1987, which is just a year after an international whaling suspension came into effect.