Japan vowed to continue its whale hunt in the Southern Ocean after clashes with the militant conservationist Sea Shepherd group, which claimed Tokyo had been forced to end the mission.
This handout picture taken by Japan's Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) on February 20, 2013 shows the environmental group's ship Sea Shepherd (L) steering its bow between an oil supply ship (R) and Japan's whaling ship Nisshin Maru (not pictured), in the Southern Ocean. Japan vowed to continue its whale hunt after the clashes.
"We are keeping our whaling programme," an official at Japan's Fisheries Agency told AFP on Thursday, denying a report that Japan was forced to suspend its whale hunt after collisions with boats crewed by anti-whaling campaigners.
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