Whale of a Dispute.
Many people in Japan say that eating whale meat is a part of their culture. Japan is the world's largest consumer of whale meat.
Currently, the Japanese hunt Minke whales, which are not endangered. But the Japanese want to expand their hunting to include Bryde's whales and sperm whales. Both are protected by U.S. law, and the sperm whale is on the endangered list. Fifteen nations, including the U.S., have asked Japan not to hunt these whales.
In August, the U.S. boycotted a meeting of environment ministers in Japan.
Japan's foreign ministry said that the U.S. is on the wrong track. "Boycotting the meeting is not a good thing for the United States, which puts so much emphasis on environmentalism," said a foreign-ministry spokesman. "It also will not help solve the whaling issue."
U.S. Commerce Secretary Norman Mineta warned that the U.S. would take "very strong action" if Japan hunts the endangered whales. The U.S. may impose trade sanctions on Japan, cutting down on imports of fish and other Japanese products.
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|Title Annotation:||US opposes Japan's plan to hunt endangered whales|
|Date:||Oct 2, 2000|
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