When tourists think of Japan, images of dramatic landscapes, futuristic cities and world class sushi might spring to mind.
Is it time to cut a deal with Japan on whaling?
Icelandic whaling boats have left port to begin the 2015 whaling season, authorities said on Monday as more than 700,000 people signed a petition calling for an end to the hunt.
When Japanese researchers said earlier this year that eating whale meat could help prevent dementia and memory loss, the news provoked snorts of derision—it couldn't be real science, went the retort.
Environmentalists reacted angrily Tuesday to a controversial shipment of fin whale meat to Japan by an Icelandic whaling company, saying it flouted international conservation agreements.
Whale meat imported into Japan from Norway has been dumped after tests found it contained up to twice the permitted level of harmful pesticide, the government said Wednesday.
Nations square off in Slovenia this week over the fate of hundreds of whales in the crosshairs of Japanese and Greenland hunters accused of sidestepping a commercial killing ban.
Japan's prime minister told parliament Monday he would boost his efforts toward restarting commercial whaling, despite a top UN court's order that Tokyo must stop killing whales in the Antarctic.
Campaigners Wednesday welcomed the launch of a body promoting whale and dolphin watching in Japan, which they said could help the country move away from its controversial slaughter of the mammals.