Tharoor 14—staff writer for the Washington Post (Ishaan, “Why Japan’s prime minister wants to hunt whales,” The Washington Post, 6/10, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/06/10/why-japans-prime-minister-wants-to-hunt-whales/)//FJ
On Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signaled his intent to resume commercial whaling, contradicting a U.N. court ruling thwarting Tokyo-sanctioned whaling fleets from carrying out their annual expeditions to the Southern Ocean. For decades now, Japan has used a loophole in international law, claiming its whaling missions were scientific endeavors. But an Australian suit lodged at the U.N.'s International Court of Justice led to the court ruling earlier this year that the specific whaling permits granted Japanwere not truly for "purposes of scientific research." According to the Guardian, Japan slaughters up to 850 mink whales and 50 endangered fin whales each year. The ICJ ruling led the Japanese to governmentto call off its planned 2014-2015 Antarctic whaling expedition.
Japan seeking commercial whaling now for profit – strong international regulation key to deter increased whaling.
Williams 13 (Steve, “Japanese Whaling: Bad For Cetaceans and Humans Alike,” Care2, 11/4, http://www.care2.com/causes/japanese-whaling-bad-for-cetaceans-and-humans-alike.html)//FJ
Whaling is Big Business Put concisely: it’s about money. Many of the animals that are hunted in the name of tradition are killed for their meat and blubber. That in itself throws up significant questions, not least of which is the Japanese government’s failure to properly screen the food products this industry produces: a number of studies show that there are dangerous levels of mercury in the whale meat being sold to Japanese consumers. In 2003, a Japanese research team found that in national samples of toothed whale red meat, the country’s best selling whale meat that includes meat from dolphins, porpoises, killer whales and pilot whales, every single sample contained mercury levels in excess of guideline levels. Some samples were found to contain almost 200 times the allowance. Japan has had significant problems with mercury infiltration in its fishing supplies, the mercury poisoning incident of Minamata being one ready example, which is believed to have caused a number of birth defects and neurological problems in children. More recent figures suggest that there may also be a danger from several other contaminants, for instance polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), with some tested product samples showing around 85 times what is considered a safe limit. However, it’s not just the food product industry that is keeping Japan’s whale hunts alive. There is a growing market for smaller cetaceans among aquariums and sea parks, with the EIA estimating that just one sale of a marine mammal can fetch anywhere between $8,400 and $98,000. This is, in fact, why stopping Japan cetacean hunting is so difficult.There are strong economic incentives to continue and, by using tradition and the prospect of offending Japanese culture as a shield, Japan can maintain the industry as a part of a cultural heritage. Yet, with the threat of extinction looming for several species, and wider concerns about the welfare of those animals it kills, it will be up to international governments and outside agencies working with advocacy groups within Japan to intensify efforts to phase out whaling while remaining committed to a long term total ban and not allow Japan to backslide as it has in the past.