Why Kangei Maru was in news?

The Kangei Maru, the latest Japanese vessel designed for whale hunting, has recently set sail on its maiden voyage. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, the Kangei Maru represents Japan's newest addition to its whaling fleet.

Environmental groups are voicing their concerns over the launch of the Kangei Maru, a new Japanese ship built specifically for whale hunting.

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) banned commercial hunts in 1986 but allowed Japan to continue catching a small number of whales in the Antarctic each year for “research” purposes.

In 2014, the international court of justice ordered a halt to the expeditions after concluding the hunts were not, as Japan had claimed, conducted for scientific research.

Four years later, Japan pulled out of the IWC and announced it would end the Antarctic hunts, but resume commercial whaling in its coastal waters.