Exactly what this escalation of Japans aggressive incursions into the Southern Ocean means for other nations of the world is unclear. It does however appear to be related to Japans plans to harvest more and more of the Antarctic krill (whale food).
These are not good times to be a whale. The Japanese up-gunning their kill fleets, increasing their harvest of the whales food and planning on taking not only more whales but also a larger selection of species.
In an update on this it appears from this story that the Japanese will leave their navy at home.
A Japan Fisheries Agency official confirmed yesterday that, unlike last summer, there would be no coastguard officers aboard the southern whaling fleet when it leaves Shimonoseki port, probably this weekend.
As for reports Tokyo was considering sending an armed Japan Coast Guard vessel to accompany the whaling fleet, the official said: "There's absolutely no possibility."