Japan said on Tuesday, September 26, it killed 177 whales off its northeast coast in an annual hunt that sparks anger among animal rights activists and others, Channel NewsAsia reported.
“Three ships which left port in June returned with 43 minke whales and 134 sei whales, the number stipulated beforehand, according to the country's fisheries agency, reads the message.
The number of whales killed had been previously stipulated for the hunt, which Japan says is carried out in the name of scientific research.
"The studies are "necessary to estimate the precise number of (sustainable) catches as we look to restart commercial whaling", agency official Kohei Ito told AFP.
Japan is a signatory to the International Whaling Commission's (IWC) moratorium on hunting, but exploits a loophole which allows whales to be killed in the name of scientific research.
Critics say Japan uses a loophole in the charter of the International Whaling Commission by claiming that the killings are carried out for research purposes.