US government asks Japan to stop the hunt
On November 19th, US State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack formally requested that Japan refrain from participating in this year's planned whale hunt, "especially in respect to humpback and fin whales". In his speech, McCormack also noted, "non-lethal research techniques are available to provide nearly all relevant data on whale populations". The latter statement proves that no one, not even an ally, is buying Japan's argument that they must hunt to do research. The official statement from the US government was a step in the right direction, but they could certainly use the power of trade sanctions and other economic pressures to put real power behind their words.