The Fisheries Agency plans to seek ¥5.1 billion for commercial whaling from the government in fiscal 2020, according to a draft of its budget request submitted to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Monday.

The LDP approved the draft. The amount to be sought for commercial whaling is unchanged from the level for fiscal 2019, which runs through next March.

Japan resumed commercial whaling on July 1, after a 31-year hiatus, while also terminating its research whaling program.

Of the ¥5.1 billion, the agency plans to use ¥2.4 billion for exploring whaling grounds and developing techniques for catching and carving up whales, and ¥600 million for strengthening cooperation with related countries and organizations as well as promoting the consumption of whale meat.

The agency will request no budget for research whaling, for which ¥400 million was earmarked for fiscal 2019.

Since the restart of commercial whaling, 150 Bryde’s whales, the limit set for this year, were caught through long-term operations by Monday.

Minke whales caught through day operations along the coastline totaled 12, close to 40 percent of the annual limit.

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