Why Japan withdrew from the IWC

Taiji mayor Kazutaka Sangen has long been waiting for resumption of commercial whaling.

Mayor Kazutaka Sangen of the town of Taiji in Wakayama Prefecture has long lobbied for the resumption of commercial whaling. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the southern part of the Kii Peninsula, Taiji is known as the birthplace of Japan’s whaling tradition.

On the day the government announced its decision, Sangen met with Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai at the party’s headquarters in Tokyo. He told reporters afterward that the move was only possible because of Nikai’s efforts.

“The Secretary General did whatever he could to get our voices to the prime minister’s office,” he said. “We believe the decision is a result of his efforts.”

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