Japan has resumed commercial whaling after a of over three decades. Commercial whaling was banned in 1986 by an International Whaling Commission (IWC) . However, Japan withdrew from the IWC in December. Japan's has promised all will stay within 320 kilometers from its . The Japanese fisheries agency set a for killing 227 whales every six . In the first days of resumed whaling, whalers caught two minke whales, which were taken to the port of Kushiro. The whale meat was auctioned in Tokyo and sold for prices. Eager restaurant owners snapped up the meat at of up to $140 per kilo.
Japan has engaged in the of whaling for . Whale restaurant chef Mitsuo Tani summed up why he thought the of commercial whaling was important. He said: "A country that does not preserve its food culture has no ." He also promoted the health of whale meat. He said: "It is five times in calories than beef, 10 times lower in cholesterol, two less fat than chicken and it's packed with iron. But abroad, people do not know this." However, Japan's return to whaling has brought international . The Humane Society accused Japan of starting a "new and era of pirate whaling". It added: "This is a sad day for whale protection .