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  Japan to import Norwegian whale meat
Updated 07 March 2002, 16.14
A minke whale after being harpooned by a Japanese whaler
Japan is planning to buy whale meat from Norway for the first time in 11 years.

The decision ignores a ban on trading in the animals, some of which were in danger of dying out.

  Click here for our guide to endangered animals

But both countries say there's now plenty of minke whales in the world's oceans and hunting won't harm the overall population.

Whale meat in Norway costs about half of the price in Japan.

Fact File
Whale hunt facts
Hunting whales for food banned in 1986
Japan carried on saying it was for research
Norway started commercial whaling again in 1993
Blubber is the favourite part of the whale in Japan

  Check out our pix of the majestic creatures of the deep

Japanese officials hope that by buying in cheap Norwegian meat more people will start eating it again.

Whale meat used to be common in Japanese school canteens but now it's rare and expensive.

But conservation groups are angry at the news.

They're worried the ban could one day be overturned completely.

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QuizDolphin & whale quiz
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Past StoriesBORDER=0
Noise pollution hurting whales and dolphins
Minke whales threatened by Japan
Rare whales threatened by shipping collisions
Dramatic dolphin rescue

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Web Links
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International Whaling Commission
Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
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