The territory is in Antarctica, which is claimed by various different countries, although the US doesn't recognize any of these claims. The specific area is claimed by Australia, which has designated it a whale sanctuary. The Japanese, of course, dispute this claim. Pretty much the entire thing is in a legal gray area (are the Japanese hunting for research or for profit? Does Australia have the right to protect this area? If the Japanese are whaling illegally, does anyone have the right to stop them from whaling? If not, are these actions, which take place under the Dutch flag, an act of war by the Netherlands?).