The government of Japan announced that it will withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC), effective June 30, 2019, and soon after will resume commercial whaling within its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone. (Everett Kennedy Brown/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

According to the Dec. 27 news article “Japan to hunt whales commercially again, exit global conservation group,” Japan is leaving the International Whaling Commission and will resume commercial whale killing. But Japan never stopped hunting and killing whales; it used the pretext of “scientific research” to mask the activity. Almost all of Japan’s scientific whaling catch (hundreds of animals annually) ended up in Japan’s fish markets.

The world should not expect Japan to conform to IWC standards or conserve whales. Japan continues to be a rogue nation that considers itself above international law. Now, Japan plans to have open hunting season on whales that daily face the challenges of global warming and ocean pollution and have never fully recovered from the overhunting that took place in the past 200 years. Whales are magnificent creatures that do not deserve the fate Japan has in store for them.

Herbert Butler, Lusby