LONDON (Kyodo) The World Wide Fund for Nature criticized the Japanese government Friday for spending massive amounts of tax money to support the commercially unprofitable whaling industry.

In a report jointly released by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, the WWF said Japanese subsidies to the whaling industry have amounted to $164 million since 1988 as commercial whaling produces no benefits.

“In the time of global economic crisis, the use of valuable tax dollars to prop up what is basically economically unviable industry, is neither strategic, sustainable, nor an appropriate use of limited government funds,” a senior WWF official said.

The report comes ahead of a general meeting of the International Whaling Commission that will start Monday with the resumption of Japanese costal whaling on the agenda.

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