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However, in March 2014 the UN's International Court of Justice ruled that the Japanese whaling program, called "JARPA II", in the Southern Ocean, including inside the Australian Whale Sanctuary, was not in accordance with the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, and was not for scientific purposes, as it had claimed.
In December 2015, Japan went ahead with their whaling program, renamed "NEWREP-A".
Japan continued to hunt whales using the scientific research provision in the agreement, and Japanese whaling is currently conducted by the Institute of Cetacean Research.
Domestically, Japanese writers have tried to call attention to historical whale declines due to whaling practices by other nations over hundreds of years, some of which continue today, and assert that motives and objectives of Japanese whaling customs differ from other nations.
In the early 20th century, Jūrō Oka dominated the whale meat market in Japan with assistance and instruction from Norwegian whalers and their leased or purchased ships.
Another boost was provided by the capture of a Russian whaling fleet and subsequent transfer to Toyo Gyo Gyo Co. As Japan's whaling industry expanded into new territory, including Korean waters, ship production and oil processing, Oka's company (renamed Toyo Hogei K.
On January 15, 2017, a helicopter in the Australian Whale Sanctuary photographed the Japanese whaling vessel Nisshin Maru with a freshly-killed minke whale on its deck.
Antarctic minke whale have experienced an apparent decline in population, though the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) indicates that it lacks sufficient data to confer a "threatened" designation on the species of minke whale.