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Monday, May 10, 1999 Published at 19:10 GMT 20:10 UK

World: Asia-Pacific

Japan to resume bottlenose whale hunting

Japan has announced that it is lifting a ban on hunting bottlenose whales in the Sea of Japan, and will allow ships to kill up to eight of the animals there this year.

Japanese whalers have not hunted the animals in the sea, which lies off the western coast of the main northern island Hokkaido, since 1972.

The bottlenose whale falls outside the jurisdiction of the International Whaling Commission, but Japan voluntarily limited its catch to fifty-four animals from four areas off the Pacific coast last year.

Commercial whaling on the high seas has been banned since 1986.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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