Over the past few years, Japan has been actively lobbying fellow members of the International Whaling Commission and would appear to have a majority of the countries on its side to facilitate a return to commercial whaling.
For the past 20 years, only Norway, Iceland and Japan have been allowed to hunt and slaughter whales, supposedly for "scientific" purposes (though it seems strange that they need to take so many each year, and somehow end up in restaurants!). However, of the 60 country Commission, Japan now seems to have about 35 in its pocket.
A lot of these countries have never had whaling industry (some don't even have a coastline), such as Belize, Mali, Togo and Gambia - yet they will support Japan at the next Whaling Commission's meeting in St Kitts in June. Much of this support has been bought through lavish and cheap aid / loan agreements.
I just hope the whales appreciate this lavish attention! However, it is proof that you can't be complacent, even if you think the battle is won!
I make no apologies for the pictures!