Japanese fisherman set sail for a whaling expedition for the first time in more than thirty years on Monday.
Japan had initially halted whaling operations as a result of international pressure, resulting in its joining the International Whaling Commission, a global ban on whaling instituted in 1986.
Japan had planned on withdrawing from the agreement and resuming whaling operations in July 2019 since late 2018.
Globally, demand for whale meat has fallen dramatically. Japanese proponents of the practice of whale hunting have primarily defended its continuation as a source of tradition and culture for whaling hubs.
Japan has stated that there will be a strict quota of 227 whales per season, hoping that this number will be small enough to prevent long-term whaling from damaging the population of species over time.
Japan has faced widespread international backlash from individuals and anti-whaling countries over the move. Many people took to Twitter to express their frustration with Japan's insistence on maintaining the practice.
Is Japan simply defending its tradition and culture, or is this decision a travesty and a mistake? Let us know in the comments below!