Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Japan e-commerce giant Rakuten halts whale meat sales/AFP


Japan e-commerce giant Rakuten halts whale meat sales

TOKYO, April 4 – Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten said Friday it has told online retailers to stop selling whale meat after a UN court ordered an end to the country’s Antarctic whale hunt.

The move  which also includes a ban on dolphin meat sales comes as Japan said Thursday it was cancelling this year’s hunt for the first time in more than a quarter of a century to abide by the decision of the United Nations’ Hague based International Court of Justice this week.

Australia, backed by New Zealand, hauled Japan before the international court in 2010 in a bid to stop the yearly campaign, which has attracted widespread condemnation outside Japan.

Japan e-commerce giant Rakuten halts whale meat sales/AFP

Japan e-commerce giant Rakuten halts whale meat sales/AFP

“We issued a notice to all stores on April 1, asking them to stop sales of whale meat products by the end of the month,” a Rakuten spokeswoman said.

“We made the decision following the ruling by the International Court of Justice and a subsequent comment by the Japanese government that it will obey the ruling,” she added.

The notice was issued to about 42,000 online shops that operate on Rakuten’s digital marketplace, she said, adding the company did not have a figure for how many sold whale meat.

A search of the site Friday turned up about 700 listings for whale meat products. There were no listings for dolphin meat.

Tokyo had been widely criticised for using a legal loophole in a 1986 whaling ban that allowed it to continue slaughtering the mammals, ostensibly so it could gather scientific data.

However, it has never made a secret of the fact that whale meat from these hunts often ended up on dining tables.

Rakuten’s move to ban the sale of whale-meat products appeared to go above and beyond the ruling, which said that Japan’s hunt in the Southern Ocean was a commercial activity disguised as science.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The judgement did not affect whales hunted as part of Japan’s coastal whaling programme or in the north Pacific.

Public consumption of whale meat in Japan has steadily and significantly fallen in recent years and there is little support for whaling itself.

But aggressive anti whaling campaigns hardened sentiment among the Japanese public, who came to see the issue as an attack on differing cultural values.

Rakuten’s decision comes several weeks after the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) published a critical report that said the e-tailer was the world’s largest online marketplace for whale meat and elephant ivory, and said the advertisements were akin to arming poachers.

Rakuten said Friday there was no change to its online ivory sales, which are restricted to domestic shoppers.

Click to comment

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Ask Kirubi

It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the whole world by surprise. Although its full impact is yet to be...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...