Japan will inform the IWC of its decision by the end of the year, according to Kyodo news agency. A hunt in the Antarctic was, however, even after withdrawal from the IWC is unlikely, the unconfirmed report.
This photo taken on September 14, 2018, shows a meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Florianopolis, Brazil.
"We would like to wholeheartedly celebrate an end to Japan's whaling in the Southern Ocean, but if Japan leaves the International Whaling Commission and continues killing whales in the north Pacific it will be operating completely outside the bounds of international law", said Nicola Beynon, head of campaigns at Humane Society International in Australia.
Japanese media are reporting Tokyo has made a decision to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission ((IWC)) to resume commercial whaling - just three months after anti-whaling nations, including Australia, voted down a Japanese push to end the ban.
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To leave the IWC in 2019, Japan needs to notify the commission by Jan 1. But these attempts were blocked by anti-whaling nations. They criticize what they call the whaling commission's lack of tolerance of diverse views on whaling and its inability to resolve the long divide between conservationists and supporters of whale use.
The IWC was established in 1946 to conserve and manage the world's whale and cetacean population. A situation described by a government source as "the IWC being unable to decide anything on resource management" has been continuing, even causing doubt over the IWC's significance as an global organization.
In the past, Japan attempted to get permission to commercially hunt just those whales that have greater numbers in the wild, such as the common minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), which is listed as an animal of "least concern" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
In 2014, the International Court of Justice ordered Japan to halt its annual hunts in the Southern Ocean after concluding that they were not, as Japanese officials had claimed, conducted for scientific research. A "sustainable" whaling is therefore, after 32 years of fishing moratorium. If it does leave, Japan would join Iceland and Norway in openly defying the moratorium.
Japanese officials have said the whaling organization is supposed to pursue sustainability but has become an anti-whaling body.