• Kyodo

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The government confirmed Friday it will abide by the International Court of Justice’s recent ruling that ordered it to halt its whaling program in the Antarctic Ocean.

Tokyo is “deeply disappointed” but will “comply with the ruling” given March 31 by the ICJ in the Hague as a nation that respects the rule of law, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration said in a written response to a lawmaker’s inquiry.

The government also said it will study the details of the ruling and consider what steps it may take “with sincerity.”

In the case lodged by Australia in 2010, Tokyo insisted that its whaling program in the Antarctic was conducted for “scientific research,” while Canberra claimed it was just a cover for commercial catching.

The international court supported Australia’s claims, stating that Japan’s whaling program violated a 1986 moratorium by the International Whaling Commission that bans commercial whaling.

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