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Asia Insight

Why Japan risked condemnation to restart commercial whaling

The industry is tiny, but for Tokyo, it is part of a much bigger picture

AKANE OKUTSU, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

TAIJI, Japan -- Fishermen in the village of Taiji are counting the days until July, when they will be able to hunt large, fatty minke whales commercially for the first time in decades.

The community, which faces the Pacific coast of central Japan, is still haunted by its moment in the international spotlight 10 years ago, when the documentary "The Cove" criticized its dolphin culls and attracted a flood of activists. Yet, a sense of optimism is spreading.

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