The only significant question that has meaning is that whether whales are increasing or decreasing, and how can we use them as natural resorces. So back to the first question.
To understand this, someone has to capture some whales as scientific research, and that what's Japanese research whaling fleet is doing. What Japan is doing has 100% agreement of IWC so no one have any rights to disturb or interfere their action. What extreme anti-whaling organization like Green Peace and Sea Shepherd are doing is terrorism. Arrest warrant has been issued for stupid actress. I really hope that Japanese crews don't get any harm by these people.
According to JWA, population of minke whale and some other species are increasing and there is no evidence that any whale species are endangered to extinction. http://www.whaling.jp/qa.html#03_02 (日本捕鯨協会Q&A)
Although many of the species is at increase, humpback whale which Japan is now aiming to capture for the first time since moratorium, still has small number compared to those of other increasing whales. I searched on internet but couldn't find the details of resent numbers. So I couldn't figure out whethere action Japanese fleet is taking is right or is it too much.