TOKYO, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- Japan will withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in order to resume commercial whaling in July 2019, the Japanese government said Wednesday.
Under IWC rules, Japan's withdrawal will become effective on June 30, enabling the country to restart commercial whaling in nearby waters and within its exclusive economic zone starting in July, a move prone to international condemnation.
Japan will not hunt whales commercially in the Antarctic Ocean although the country has implemented so-called "scientific whaling" for research purposes as it claims.
The announcement of withdrawal came after months of threatening to leave the international organization.
Established in 1948, the IWC is an international body aimed at protecting whales and upholding the "orderly development of the whaling industry." Japan joined the IWC in 1951.