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Humpback whale. Image: Christopher Swann

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Dead sperm whale in The Wash, East Anglia, England. © CSIP-ZSL.

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Risso's dolphin © Andy Knight

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Fin whale (balaenoptera physalus) Three fin whales Gulf of California.

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A spinner dolphin leaping © Andrew Sutton/Eco2

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Japan delays whaling to avoid US President’s visit to Japan

The Yomiuri Shimbun reports that the Japanese government ‘has decided to postpone the departure date for its whaling fleet, initially set for Tuesday, to Saturday or even later in the hope of avoiding tension with the international community ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Japan on Wednesday.’

The Japanese government appears to be torn with some elements saying that whaling in the North Pacific should be delayed, and yet the Fisheries Ministry is still pushing their own agenda to keep the whaling going.

The Yomiuri Shimbun reports ‘A senior offical at the Foreign Affairs Ministry said: “The ICJ judged that Japan’s research whaling is virtually commerical. Taking that into account, we should halt [whaling] in the northwestern Pacific, too.”

But some lawmakers in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and other parties that represent the interests of the whaling industry have insisted that Japan should continue research whaling by all possible means.’

On Friday, various news sources were reporting that ‘ Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said on Friday that the Pacific catch target was being slashed to about 210 from the current 380.’