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Japan Abandons Antarctic Whale Hunt After Protests

Japan abandoned its whale hunt for the first time in four years, saying clashes between its fleet and protesters in boats in the Southern Ocean had threatened the lives of the whalers.

The government made the decision “to secure the safety of ships and their crew,” Agriculture Minister Michihiko Kano said in a press briefing on NHK Television. Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara said the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society boats engaged in “dangerous, unlawful acts” in blocking the whaling vessels.