High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! Whaling in Japan may have begun as early as the 12th century. DUring the 20th century Japan was heavily involved in commercial whaling until the International Whaling Commission moratorium on commercial whaling. JApanese whaling is currently restricted to hunts conducted by the Institute of Cetacean Research. IT is, however, a source of political dispute between pro- and anti-whaling countries and organizations. NAtions, scientists and environmental organizations opposed to whaling consider the Japanese research program to be unnecessary at best and a thinly disguised commercial whaling operation at worst. JApan maintains the annual whaling is sustainable and necessary for scientific study and management of whale stocks. JApan also argues that objections to whaling are based upon cultural differences and emotional anthropomorphism.