Hong Kong (CNN) -- Japan will never stop its annual hunt for whales, a government minister has reportedly said, amid recent clashes on the high seas between environmental activists and Japanese whaling ships.

"I don't think there will be any kind of an end for whaling by Japan," Yoshimasa Hayashi, the Japanese minister for agriculture, forestry and fisheries, said in an interview with the French news service Agence France-Presse on Tuesday.