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Oka traveled the world gathering information about whaling practices including to Norway for harpoons, cannons and expertise.He also established the first modern whaling company in Japan in 1899, Nihon Enyo Gyogyo K. which took its first whale on February 4, 1900, with a Norwegian gunner, Morten Pedersen.
Norwegian-style modern whaling, based on the use of power-driven vessels, cannons and exploding harpoons, was introduced in the Meiji period largely through the efforts of Jūrō Oka who is considered the "father of modern Japanese whaling".
In the early 20th century, Jūrō Oka dominated the whale meat market in Japan with assistance and instruction from Norwegian whalers and their leased or purchased ships.
Another boost was provided by the capture of a Russian whaling fleet and subsequent transfer to Toyo Gyo Gyo Co. As Japan's whaling industry expanded into new territory, including Korean waters, ship production and oil processing, Oka's company (renamed Toyo Hogei K.
These hunts are a source of conflict between pro- and anti-whaling countries and organizations.
The UN's International Court of Justice, in addition to other Nations, scientists, and environmental organizations consider the Japanese research program to be unnecessary and lacking scientific merit, and describe it as a thinly disguised commercial whaling operation.