If Japan is a traditional whaling country, why do they have to send their ships all the way to the South Atlantic?
First of all, there a tenuous link at best between modern Japanese whaling and the few villages that have had this industry for hundreds of years. The technology for modern whaling came entirely from the West and it was Western countries,ironically, that hunted most of the whales in Japanese waters close to zero. It was also, by the way,the American occupation authorities that gave the biggest boost to postwar Japanese whaling
Why does Japanese whaling continue despite international isolation?
Well, international isolation actually tends to stiffen resolve and increase nationalism- see the Blitz spirit etc, which might explain its support by people who don’t even like the taste of whale (Norway, of all countries, is indentical in this regard).
The best explanation I’ve heard (from a Japanese academic on BBC Radio a couple of months ago) of why it still exists and so gets that public support is simply that the relevant bureaucrats in the ministry will do anything they can to make sure their own influence- i.e. nothing exclusive to Japan there either. The Japanese attitude to animal rights vs. the right of people to exploit nature is also fairly typical in the world, the Anglo Saxon eco terrorists who will knock a person off a horse to save a fox being the minority.