Japan failed in its attempt to annul a 32-year ban on commercial whaling in a victory for the Australian government and conservationists.
The International Whaling Commission rejected Japan's proposal, which claimed that the whale stocks had recovered sufficiently. The vote was defeated 41 to 27 on Friday after a five-day meeting in Brazil.
The commission also rejected attempts to weaken its decision-making rules and set catch limits for commercial whaling.
Japan, Norway and Iceland continue to hunt whales every year in defiance of the ban.
Australia has been one of Japan's biggest criticisms on the issue and was one of three countries out of a total of 75 nations present to send a ministerial representative to the conference in Brazil.
"The Australian government worked hard with the partner countries on the commission to achieve this result," Sen. Anne Ruston, deputy minister for International Development and the Pacific, said in a statement on Friday.
"The strong defense of our delegation was successful in rejecting the Japanese proposal to resume whaling, after intense lobbying by member nations and non-governmental representatives from many parts of the world," he said.