The traditional custom of eating whale meat has considerably declined. Many reports show that whale meat from whales killed last year is piling up in refrigerated warehouses.
Whale meat was surely an important part of Japan's heritage, and a major source of protein in the lean times after World War II. However, its continued consumption, for either culinary, dietary or cultural reasons, hardly seems compelling at this point.
Continuing the whale hunts means Japan will continue to pay dearly in international diplomatic costs for its right to maintain a tradition that extends far beyond the borders of the country's culture yet is no longer central to daily life here at home.