the Japanese Government referred to the expedition as “scientific”. It is a description that infuriates anti-whaling activists. Whale meat harvested on the expeditions is sold on to the Japanese market and the profits used to fund “future research”.
As part of its declared mission to collect scientific data on the age and “mode of life” of Antarctic whale stocks
Admittedly, I don’t know anything about this past the news wire reports. But I guess to learn about the whales you have to kill them.
Japan says it needs to kill the animals in order to conduct research on their reproductive and feeding patterns.