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‘There are a number of factors, both biological and economic, which led the industry to destroy one whale species after another, even though the industry was dependent on their survival. Thus, the commercial whaling ban should be kept and not mixed up with the idea of preserving tradition and/or culture. More than 70 percent of the Japanese public don’t support whaling in the Southern Ocean, but the Japanese government keeps sending its whaling fleet to do ‘research.’ This should stop.” — Junichi Sato, Greenpeace Japan Ocean Campaign Project Manager

‘We’re not talking about hunting whales to extinction. We all know that whale resources were once overused. But the idea of thinning out some stocks exists with all other kinds of animals, ranging from deer to kangaroos. I wonder why people overreact to whales only. We used to eat whalemeat as part of our tradition, but it was banned because of external pressure. So we’re forced to protect our tradition under the name of ‘research’ hunting.” — Yasukazu Hamada, LDP lawmaker and a leading member of the Parliamentary Whaling League

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