Japan and Norway failed on Saturday in their controversial push to overturn an international ban on commercial trade in whales. Delegates from 150 nations at a meeting of the U.N. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species rejected proposals that would have allowed trade in gray and minke whales. Whale defenders were heartened that Japan and Norway won less support this time than they did in 1997 when they made almost identical proposals. The International Whaling Commission imposed a worldwide ban on commercial whaling in 1986, but Norway and Japan continue to hunt by exploiting loopholes that permit whaling for local consumption and scientific purposes.