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Japan to resume commercial whaling after three-decade hiatus

Fleets will target minke whales when hunts begin Monday

A minke whale is unloaded in Hokkaido on June 1, after being caught in the last round of Japan's research whaling.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- Japan will resume commercial whaling for the first time in 31 years Monday, a day after it left the International Whaling Commission, the intergovernmental body that regulates whale hunting.

Japanese fleets will begin by targeting minke whales in territorial waters and the country's exclusive economic zone, which extends 200 nautical miles from Japan's coast. It remains to be seen whether hunters can grow the market for whale meat at home.

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