Whale meat on the menu as Japanese suppliers try to tempt tourists

With the domestic market in long-term decline, whalers and restaurants are working with the Japan travel bureau in a bid to win over skeptical visitors

The anticipation is building in the private, tatami-mat room at Murasaki, a restaurant in Osaka. At one end sit a handful of Japanese journalists; on the other, executives from the country’s biggest whaling company and officials from the travel industry.

In the middle, six hand-picked social influencers from Thailand, France, Russia and South Korea take their places around a hori-zataku table and wait for the first of several courses devoted to Japan’s most controversial cuisine: whale meat.

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