In the early 20th century, Jūrō Oka dominated the whale meat market in Japan with assistance and instruction from Norwegian whalers and their leased or purchased ships.
Another boost was provided by the capture of a Russian whaling fleet and subsequent transfer to Toyo Gyo Gyo Co. As Japan's whaling industry expanded into new territory, including Korean waters, ship production and oil processing, Oka's company (renamed Toyo Hogei K.
In December 2015, Japan went ahead with their whaling program, renamed "NEWREP-A".
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Japan continued to hunt whales using the scientific research provision in the agreement, and Japanese whaling is currently conducted by the Institute of Cetacean Research.
This was allowed under IWC rules, although most IWC members oppose it. N.'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.
Antarctic minke whale have experienced an apparent decline in population, though the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) indicates that it lacks sufficient data to confer a "threatened" designation on the species of minke whale.
These hunts are a source of conflict between pro- and anti-whaling countries and organizations. N.'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.
There harpooners would approach in four boats of their own.