The United Nations' International Court of Justice has ordered Japan to temporarily halt whaling in the Antarctic because the practice does not serve scientific purposes, as the country claims. Australia initially brought the case to court in 2010, claiming that Japan was killing whales for commercial purposes.
In a 12-to-4 vote, presiding Judge Peter Tomka said Japan didn't justify why it's killing a large number of whales. As part of the ruling, the country must immediately withdraw all whaling permits and licenses in the Antarctic. "The evidence does not establish that the program's design and implementation are reasonable in relation to achieving its stated objectives," Judge Tomka said. Japan responded saying it's "deeply disappointed" by the decision.
Japan and Western countries have clashed repeatedly over the whaling issue, since it's common for whale meat to be sold in the Asian country, while other countries want to end whaling on conservation grounds.