Japanese authorities have issued a warning for whale watcher visitors to watch the start of the whale watching season.
The government’s annual Whale Watch and Marine Safety Program said the year is beginning and whale watching is “highly likely.”
The program’s website states, “This year, whales are expected to arrive from the Indian Ocean, as well as from the Southern Ocean.
In the South Pacific, the whale population is expected to expand in the coming years.”
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to help Japan maintain a stable environment for whale watching and said it is his country’s responsibility to ensure the welfare of the whales and their habitats.
The program said the first whale viewing event will be held at 10:30 a.m.
Sunday (3:30 p.m., Tokyo time) in the city of Hiroshima.
Abe said in June that Japan will begin observing whales starting in September and continue until the end of May, the government’s website said.
It also said Japanese whale watching teams will patrol the country’s waters.
Last year, Japan had its first whale watching whale event.
In 2013, a group of tourists from Japan and China were able to witness the first ever sighting of a Japanese sperm whale off Japan.
The whales, a total of nine, were spotted by two Japanese researchers while on a research cruise.