Answers from the Fisheries Agency regarding the open letter from us.

Answer 1
 The idea of sustainable use of marine resources based on scientific evidence is a basic policy of our country. Whales are one of the valuable fishery resources for our country, as we are surrounded by the sea on all sides.
 Based on this basic policy, we resumed the whaling operation.
 As we know, the purpose of the IWC is the conservation of whale resources as well as the development (sustainable use) of an orderly whaling industry. However, for many years the sustainable use has been neglected by the IWC. In addition, the coexistence of countries with different positions on whales and whaling was denied at last year's IWC General Assembly, making it clear that there is no prospect of IWC functioning in line with its objectives. For this reason, we decided to leave the IWC.
Answer 2 
  1. The catch limit is set within the range of allowable catch calculated according to the method (RMP)adopted by the IWC.
  2. RMP is designed based on stock management, and the existence of the Japan Sea stock is taken into account for determining the allowable catch of minke whales.
    In consideration of migrating of the same population to the Pacific coast, we have set up a protected sea area where capturing whales is prohibited.
  3. It is not clear what the “Eden’s whale” mentioned in your questions refers to, but for Bryde’s whales, we have set up a protected sea area to avoid possible capture of the coastal populations inhabiting in areas such as the coast of Kochi Prefecture.
  4. Scientific information on captured cetaceans will be reported to the IWC Scientific Committee and will be shared through scientific journals, which will be submitted by the scientists from the Japanese Whale Research Institute.
 Answer 3
  1. For the management of the whaling industry, a Fisheries Agency staff will be aboard the whaling mother ship. For coastal whaling, we will position another staff from the Agency at the whale meat processing plant.
  2. The Fisheries Agency assigns staff directly to the whaling mother ship and whale meat processing plant to ensure that the whaling operation is monitored.
  3. In the future, from the viewpoint of cost reduction and operational efficiency, we will consider introducing a monitoring system using electronic devices.

Answer 4

  1. Expenses necessary for supporting the promotion of whale meat cuisine is included in the 1st year of Reiwa (2019) budget.
  2. For the next fiscal year and after, there is no plan at this point to supply whale meat to school lunches or plan to support the promotion of whale meat for school lunches.

Answer 5

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has jurisdiction over food safety.

Answer 6

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has jurisdiction over food safety. In addition,
The Fisheries Agency is not in a position to answer because the post-capture processing differs from that of
the supplier.