Whaling controversy continues

TOKYO – Japan vowed on Monday to press ahead with a campaign to overturn a two-decade ban on commercial whaling, after a slim majority of nations in the International Whaling Commission voted to overturn the moratorium.

Japan and supporters in the Caribbean and Africa passed the symbolic IWC resolution by a 33-32 vote Sunday, although pro-whaling nations still lack the 75 percent majority needed to end the ban.

Japan, Norway, Iceland, Russia and other whaling nations are attempting to return the IWC to its roots as a group that manages world whale populations, rather than trying to prevent all killing of whales.

Japan maintains that whaling is a national tradition and a vital part of its food culture. It says whale stocks have sufficiently recovered since 1986 to allow a resumption of limited hunts of certain species.

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