Japan suspends whale hunt after chase by protesters
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan has suspended its annual whale hunt in the Antarctic for now after a hardline anti-whaling group gave chase to its mother ship and it may call the fleet back home, a government official said.
Regular attempts by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to interrupt hunts have caused irritation in Japan, one of only three countries that now hunt whales and where the government says it is an important cultural tradition.
"Putting safety as a priority, the fleet has halted scientific whaling for now. We are currently considering what to do hereafter," said Tatsuya Nakaoku, an official at the Fisheries Agency.