• Kyodo

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The three-ship whaling fleet led by the Nisshin Maru has returned to the port of Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, after completing this season’s hunt in the Antarctic.

Multiple dents were visible on the bow and hull of the Nisshin Maru, which collided with vessels of the antiwhaling group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

At a welcoming ceremony Sunday, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said the group’s obstructive activities “amounted to piracy, as the International Whaling Commission has recognized the legitimacy of Japan’s research whaling.”

The Fisheries Agency said the fleet caught 103 southern minke whales this season, the smallest catch since Japan started research whaling in the Antarctic in 1987.

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