Agence France-Presse broke the news to the world today, that Japan will set off again this year to hunt whales in the Southern Ocean.

Despite many years of opposition by other nations, and condemnation by the United Nations, they are going hunting under the guise of “research” yet again.

Their fleet, which will consist of one mother ship, three other vessels, and a crew of 168 people, will set off for the hunting grounds on Tuesday 1 December.  They will hunt the whales until March 2016. The Japanese Fisheries Agency issued the statement on their website today.

The waters around the Antarctic in the Southern Ocean are an internationally designated whale sanctuary and were assigned this status in 1994.  Greenpeace has fought a long war against the whalers.  Some of them have ended up in jail for their efforts to expose corruption in the so-called whale research program.

Greenpeace International also brought to the attention of the world, the fact that much of the money sent to Japan to aid the victims of the Tsunami in 2011 was diverted to the whaling program.

They lauded a decision by Australia, who in 2013 took Japan to the International Court of Justice because of their whaling operations.  At the time, Australia pointed out that "if all nations” hunted whales as Japan does, that over “80,000 whales" would die annually.

On 31 March 2014, ABC News Australia reported that the International Court of Justice had ruled that the Japanese whaling program was NOT carried out for scientific purposes and, therefore, they were ordered to immediately stop whaling in the Antarctic.  Japan has once again ignored the rest of the world and is set to hunt again this year.

The government of Japan maintains that annual whaling is sustainable.  They insist that their scientific study is to carry out research regarding the management of whale stocks.  Japan consistently maintains that objections to whaling are driven purely by “cultural differences”. 

Japan also argues that anti-whaling activism is driven by the tendency for humans to attribute human emotions to #Animals.

Japan has a population of well-educated people.  Their government is a respected world leader in our time.  It is simply inexplicable why an educated, intelligent, and modern nation persists in slaughtering whales.  Whales no longer belong to a culture, or a nation or a community. Whales belong to the whole world. It is time for the rest of the world to stand up and say, “Enough is enough.” #Nature