Local September 3, 2015 | 10:40 am

Japan envoy in Dominican Republic calls whale-killing ´tradition´

Santo Domingo.- Japan´sAmbassador in the country on Wednesday defended his country´s hunting of whalesdespite Dominican Republic´s opposition to the killings as a member of theInternational Whaling Commission.

Takachi Fuchigami spokein a conference at Universidad del Caribe where he revealed that his country´s tradewith Dominican Republic is "barely" US$200.0 million yearly.

“Annual trade betweenthe two countries is barely US$200 million," said Takashi, acknowledging thatmore investment from Japan and vice versa, "there are no direct flights,its something that affects trade."

When asked aboutwhaling for scientific purposes, the diplomat said it "was once a religiousmatter, thousands of years ago Buddhism banned the Japanese people from eatingfour-legged animals…we traditionally take protein from big fish."

Dominican Republicjoined the International Whaling Commission in 2006 and has since sought toprotect the humpback whales which migrate each year to Samana (northeast),spurring a thriving whale-watching business.

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