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U.N. Court: Japan's Antarctic Whale Hunts Illegal

Colin Hale |
March 31, 2014 | 3:59 p.m. PDT

Associate News Editor

Japan's whaling operations in Southern Ocean/via Twitter @TreeHugger
Japan's whaling operations in Southern Ocean/via Twitter @TreeHugger
In a 12-4 ruling on Monday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Japan's Antarctic whale hunts must be halted.

The ICJ is the United Nations' highest court for disputes involving member states. Australia filed a complaint against Japan in 2010.

Monday's ruling said that Japan failed to adequately demonstate its claim that the whaling operations in the Antarctic are for "scientific purposes." 

Japan kills an estimated 1,000 minke whales in the annual hunts. Japan has claimed that its whaling operations in the Southern Ocean are for scientific purposes and a historical cultural tradition.

In Monday's ruling, the ICJ ordered Japan to cease its whale hunts "with immediate effect."

Read more about the ICJ's decision on Japan's whaling operations at ABC News, NPR, and the LA Times.

Read the ICJ's decision here.

Reach Associate News Editor Colin Hale here. Follow him on Twitter.


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