In spite of heated controversy surrounding the whaling activities of Japan, it appears Japan has no intentions to stop whaling. In an article published on Feb. 28, 2013 in Japan, the Japan Times has reported, Japan will never stop whaling: fisheries chief. Fisheries minister Yoshimasa Hayashi has said that Japan will never stop hunting whales even though there has been harsh criticism from other nations and violent clashes at sea with militant conservationists.
Hayashi has said, “I don’t think there will be any kind of an end for whaling by Japan.” He has also said criticism of the practice is “a cultural attack, a kind of prejudice against Japanese culture.” He has also commented, there is “a long historical tradition about whaling. Japan is an island nation surrounded by the sea, so taking some good protein from the ocean is very important. For food security, I think it’s very important.” Hayashi has also said, “In some countries they eat dogs, like Korea. In Australia they eat kangaroos. We don’t eat those animals, but we don’t stop them from doing that because we understand that’s their culture.”
Meanwhile, the BBC has reported on a US court labeling the Sea Sheperd anti-whaling activists as pirates, US court brands whale activists Sea Shepherd 'pirates.' Judge Alex Kozinski has said Sea Shepherd's "aggressive and high-profile attacks" on Japan's whaling fleet have endangered lives, and he has ordered them to stop. Last year the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals issued an injunction banning Sea Shepherd from going within 500m of Japan's ships. In a ruling on Monday Judge Kozinski has overturned an earlier district court ruling which had sided with the activists, saying, "When you ram ships, hurl glass containers of acid, drag metal-reinforced ropes in the water to damage propellers and rudders, launch smoke bombs and flares with hooks; and point high-powered lasers at other ships, you are, without a doubt, a pirate."