Japan is to defy Australia and other nations with plans to replace its whaling fleet’s ageing mother ship, showing its determination to continue its annual expeditions to the Southern Ocean.
The newspaper quoted agency officials as saying that a new mother ship was needed to haul whales on board to be butchered during Japan’s controversial “research” hunts in the Antarctic.
Whaling officials have also said they needed a faster ship to evade anti-whaling activists. The marine conservation group Sea Shepherd recently said it was abandoning its pursuit of Japan’s whalers in the Southern Ocean, but has not ruled out a resumption of its campaign.
The group has clashed with the Japanese whaling fleet several times since it started obstructing the vessels in 2005.