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International relations

Japan's IWC exit no magic bullet for foundering whalers

Efforts by leading politicians to satisfy constituencies risk tarnishing country's image

Two minke whales seen on a scientific whaling ship off the coast of Hokkaido in northern Japan. Japan plans to resume commercial hunting of minke and other whales next year.

TOKYO -- Japan's decision to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission and pursue commercial whaling aims to revive an industry with political significance for top leaders but whose long-term prospects remain unclear even with this shot in the arm.

Speaking with reporters Wednesday after the move was announced, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga cited Japan's goal of revitalizing the country's languishing rural areas.

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