Japan is currently the object of criticism for its decision to leave the International Whaling Commission, and resume commercial whaling in territorial waters and its own exclusive economic zone. People who support the move cite either cultural reasons — Japan traditionally, they assert, is a whale-eating country — or the assumption that whales aren't as endangered as the IWC claims they are.

Both of these points are disputed, but another, more obscure reason to allow whaling is that the consumption of whale meat as a protein supplement is more environmentally responsible than the consumption of livestock, the production of which is considered a prime source of greenhouse gases and general environmental destruction.

A 2009 article in the Sankei Shimbun used this rationale to promote whaling by saying that the amount of carbon dioxide produced to harvest 1 kilogram of whale meat, even counting the long distances that whaling ships traveled, was less than one-tenth of the amount created to produce 1 kg of beef, citing a survey by the predecessor of what is now Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency.