Tatsuya Nakaoku, the Fisheries Agency official in charge of whaling, told AFP that the funds had been necessary in order provide extra security for the whaling fleet, and ultimately help the coastal towns that largely depended on whaling to recover from the March 11 disasters.
Despite this, the move has angered environmental activists, many of whom were already against the practice of whaling.
"It is absolutely disgraceful for the Japanese government to pump yet more taxpayer money on an unneeded, unwanted and economically unviable whaling programme, when funds are desperately needed for recovery efforts," said Junichi Sato, the executive director of Greenpeace Japan, as quoted by The Guardian.
According to some reports, several Japanese groups have also written a letter to Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshihiko Noda, to protest the use of recovery cash.
"We demand the government not waste any more taxpayers' money on the whaling program but instead spend this money on projects that actually help the people, communities and region affected by the tragic March 11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis," the letter said.
"It is clear that the Japanese government's stated goal of resuming commercial whaling in the Southern ocean is unachievable. The whaling program cannot survive without taxpayer handouts."
Japanese fishermen make annual trips to the Antarctic Ocean in order to hunt for whales in what they claim to be for “scientific research.” Nearly 1,000 whales are killed each year “in the name of science” with the meat acquired often sold to Japanese restaurants.
In recent years, the Japanese whaling fleet have met with protestors out in the open sea who attempt to disrupt their attempts of whaling. Last year, the whaling fleet were forced to end their expedition a month ahead of schedule after being constantly harassed by ships helmed by activist groups. Part of the additional funds used this year has been said have gone to protecting the fleet from these attacks.