In an open letter to the Japanese Prime Minister, a group of celebrities have urged him to reverse the country’s decision to resume whaling.
Calling whaling a “cruel and archaic practice which has no place in the 21st century”, the letter urged Shinzō Abe to rejoin the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
Japan, in December, had announced that it will resume whaling in July this year, for the first time in more than three decades.
“To the utter disgust of the rest of the world, Japan intends to resume killing whales. We don’t need statements of disgust, we need sanctions that will hurt. If shame won’t turn the Japanese then economic pain might,” said the letter, signed by celebrities such as actors Ricky Gervais and Joanna Lumley, the broadcasters Stephen Fry and Ben Fogle, and the naturalist Chris Packham.
Estimates by campaigners against whaling say that the country has killed d 8,201 minke whales in the Antarctic since 1986.
“There is no humane way to kill a whale. Whales die in agony when harpooned, often taking a long time to die in bloody and gory conditions,” the letter, published in the Daily Telegraph said.