Japan is spending 2.3 billion yen $29 million from its supplementary budget for tsunami reconstruction to fund the countrys annual whaling hunt in the Antarctic Ocean, a fisheries official confirmed Thursday.
Tatsuya Nakaoku, a Fisheries Agency official in charge of whaling, defended the move, saying the funding helps support Japans whaling industry as a whole, including some whaling towns along the devastated northeastern coast. One ship on the hunt is based in Ishinomaki, a town hit badly by the March 11 tsunami, he said.
The budget request was made to beef up security and maintain the "stable operation" of Japans research whaling, he said, which has faced increasingly aggressive interference from boats with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Read the rest of the story: Japan Funnels Almost $30 Million in Tsunami Funds to Whaling Hunt.