It is a country which has so often sparked controversy when it comes to its whaling industry. Yet when more than 130 whales recently got stranded in Japan, the response was the same as anywhere; one of compassion and action.
As over 130 melon-headed whales were found laid out across a 100-mile stretch of beach just 60 miles northeast of Tokyo on Friday, a huge community response got underway with locals and coastguards working to save the cetaceans by moving them back to sea.
Several of the animals were found to have deep cuts across the skin, suggesting possible contact with ships' propellers. Some were reported as having died already, as locals were keeping the animals' skin wet and hydrated. A local man, as quoted by public broadcaster NHK: "They are alive. I feel sorry for them."
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