A Japanese government spokesman has defended an annual dolphin hunt after U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy tweeted that she was deeply concerned by the inhumanity of the practice.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference Monday that dolphin fishing in Japan is carried out appropriately in accordance with the law.

He was responding to a question about Kennedy's criticism. Suga said Japan will explain its position to the United States.

Kennedy tweeted on Sunday: "Deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing." She added that the U.S. government opposes such fishing.

The annual hunt in the fishing village of Taiji in western Japan has come under international criticism and was the subject of the Academy Award-winning 2009 film "The Cove."