The judgment by the International Court of Justice in The Hague is binding and final without appeal, forcing Japan to change a whaling program it claimed to be for "scientific research."
Japan has made it clear that it will comply with the judgment.
Japan has insisted that its whaling program is consistent with Article 8 of the 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, which permits research whaling, and that selling whale meat is also permitted by the article as it requires any whales taken to be processed as far as practicable.
But a 16-judge panel at the court decided that Japan's whaling is not consistent with the international agreement, supporting Australia's position that Japan's whaling in the Antarctic Ocean should stop.
After a moratorium on commercial whaling by the International Whaling Commission came into force in 1986, Japan continued whale hunting under quotas set by the Japanese government, saying collecting scientific data was necessary for sustainable use of whale resources.
Japan wanted to resume commercial whaling suspended by the moratorium, and by conducting "scientific whaling" it has sought to provide evidence to end the moratorium….