Japan is considering whether to remain in the International Whaling Commission because of little prospect of being able to resume commercial whaling. The fisheries ministry wants to compile a rough plan on the issue by the end of the year.
The IWC adopted a moratorium on commercial whaling in 1982. In line with this resolution, Japan suspended commercial whaling in 1988, and now catches whales purely for studies on whale resources.
Japan has been proposing a resumption on the grounds that whale numbers are increasing. But the effort has been unsuccessful due to a conflict in views with anti-whaling nations.
Some lawmakers in Japan's governing parties argue that it is difficult for the country to catch whales commercially again as long as it remains in the IWC.
After an IWC meeting in September, in Florianopolis, Brazil, a state minister of the fisheries ministry at that time said his ministry would have to fundamentally review Japan's position in the commission.
But some others in the governing coalition say withdrawal would have a negative impact on Japan's presence in international society.