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When they kill whales, hunters invoke the Buddha and pray for the repose of whales' souls; they held funerals for whales, built cenotaphs for them, gave posthumous Buddhist names to them, and when a dead fetus is removed from a butchered cow, an effort is made to release it into the sea.These practices are intended to encourage emotionally healthy or spiritual relationships with whales, and are connected with Japanese religious beliefs.However, in March 2014 the UN's International Court of Justice ruled that the Japanese whaling program, called "JARPA II", in the Southern Ocean, including inside the Australian Whale Sanctuary, was not in accordance with the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, and was not for scientific purposes, as it had claimed.In December 2015, Japan went ahead with their whaling program, renamed "NEWREP-A".This decline of coastal stocks resulted not only in financial solvency of many industrial groups but also in disputes between feudal domains in western Japan that required the intervention of the shogunate.As early as the Edo period, Japanese writers may have tried to call attention to overkill by American and Norwegian whalers, whose hunting practices led to depletion of whale populations, and the tragedy called Semi-nagare, an incident in which over 100 Taiji whalers were lost in the ill-timed pursuit of the only two whales they had seen in December 1878.The incident effectively marked the end of traditional Japanese whaling practice.

The UN's International Court of Justice, in addition to other Nations, scientists, and environmental organizations consider the Japanese research program to be unnecessary and lacking scientific merit, and describe it as a thinly disguised commercial whaling operation.

K.) returned significant profits to its investors which led to increased Japanese competition.

Oka later became the first president of the Japan Whaling and Fishing Association, established in 1908.

enforcement of the Shorui-Awaremi-no-rei (ordinances of animal protection) excluded whales due to being perceived locally as fish, despite the fulfillment of terms of protection for having "mammalian natures", and that a paper regarding whales as mammals was published in Kyoto in 1758.

As a precept, Buddhists and other concerned people created folklore tales about whaling communities and those who practiced whaling on an industrial scales met tragic downfalls by supernatural phenomenon such as phantoms and the curses of whales.

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