national

Japan rejects IWC proposal to halt research whaling

87 Comments

Japan said Tuesday it will reject any proposal by the International Whaling Commission that halts research whaling in the Antarctic, making it unlikely that a compromise plan to open limited coastal whaling would work.

The IWC proposal, suggested by an internal panel, would allow Japan to hunt whales in its coastal waters in exchange for phasing out its research whale hunt in the Antarctic Ocean.

Japan quickly said that wasn't good enough.

"We cannot accept a proposal that discontinues our research hunting," Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Shigeru Ishiba told reporters.

The world body regulating the hunting of many species of whales has been paralyzed by a clash between pro- and anti-whaling countries.

Japan hunts whales under a study program allowed by international rules, but opponents say the research expeditions are a cover for commercial whaling, which was banned in 1986. Japan's whaling fleet, currently in the Antarctic Ocean, plans to harvest up to 935 minke whales and 50 fin whales this season.

Ishiba said Japan, although they cannot accept the proposal, will examine it carefully. He declined to elaborate.

According to the proposal, Japan could hunt minke whales at four coastal areas for five years. Hunting would have to be day-trips with no more than five vessels, and all catches would be consumed locally.

In exchange, the proposal calls for a phase-out of hunting minke whales in the Southern Ocean and an end to the hunt of humpback or fin whales in the Southern Ocean. The proposal will be discussed at the IWC's meeting next month in Rome.

Japan has hunted whales for hundreds of years, and the meat is a sentimental favorite of people who lived through the lean postwar years, when whale was the chief source of protein because Japan couldn't afford pork or beef. Whale was a common family dish, and many schoolchildren ate it every day.

It is still easily found in restaurants and canned in supermarkets, but is not a part of a typical home-cooked meal.

Japan has in the past threatened to leave the IWC if the commercial whaling ban is not lifted, and has strongly lobbied for an end to the moratorium.

Iceland resumed commercial whaling in 2006 and is one of only two countries, along with Norway, to authorize fishermen to hunt whales to sell for their meat. Unlike Japan, both countries choose not to recognize IWC rules, which stipulate that whales may be killed for research but not for commercial purposes.

© Wire reports

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

87 Comments
Login to comment

But who is going to continue the whale research in Antractica !?!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

four points in Hokkaido, Miyagi, Chiba and Wakayama prefectures for five years with single-day hunt of minke whales by less than five vessels.

4 points, 5 years, 1 day, 5 vessels - so 100 whales, or maybe 200 whales if each vessel takes 2 on their days - for a full five year period. Far less than the 1000/year now.

if the country drastically scales down its whale hunt under the so-called ‘‘research whaling’’ program in the Antarctic Ocean.

I think that we need to see the math for this condition.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe still Japan. Wait for Portugal meeting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

with single-day hunt

better get this defined. I can see the whalers claiming that their hunt did not start until the grenade exploded.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think that "with single-day hunt" means hunt everyday as whalers do not come back soon if once they departed. They back months later.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Someone did a report once on how there is so much unconsumed whale meat on the market in Japan that a company in Chiba Prefecture makes pet food out of it. This would mean little Fukutaro gets more mammal in his kibble!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I smell a sell out. Actually, there was the story about the US/Japan doing whaling deals last week. It looks like the fix is in....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hope this corrects the view held by many that the IWC is an anti-whaling organization, because obviously, it's not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan can't possibly agree to this. The 'scientific research' being carried out in the Antarctic, they have told us repeatedly, is absolutely essential and cannot possibly be scaled down. It has nothing to do with how much meat reaches the table, honest. Cutting back on the numbers being taken in the Antarctic will lead to a drastic rise in the number of marine 'cockroaches' that will eat all the fish in the oceans and lead to the End Of the World.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think it's a good pragmatic move for the following reason:

Japan wants to hunt whales cheifly because the rest of the world doesn't want them to and they don't want to be seen to back down. Nationalists eat whale for this reason too. But if Japan was allowed to hunt whales it would remove the nationalism from the equation and the practise would gradually did out.

Thoughts?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The pragmatic move idea is a good one.

Another option might be for every nation to take up whaling and thereby

a) Forcing the national quotas down to about 10 whales per nation

b) Removing the "let's preserve the unique japanese traditions"/ don't tell us what we can't do incentive.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cleo is bang on: if Japan agrees to this it means they admit they are out and out lying about the necessity of their research. What's more, I would actually think this sounds a little reasonable if Japan would hold up its end of the bargain, but I don't think it will. It will legally 'whale' around its own shores, then legally 'carry out science' in other areas of the ocean(s).

What the UN should to is propose this, and if Japan says yes the UN punish Japan for lying about scientific research, close that loop hole in whaling, and then deny Japan what it promised since Japan lied about its whaling program and the 'necessary science' it conducts.

Problem solved.... well, except for the dying old men who want to remember who poor they were when they had to eat blubber after WWII.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It'd be like the consumption tax; starts off with just one-day hunts at four points using five vessels, then after a few years when they think no one's watching it gets upped to three-day hunts, five-day hunts, month-long hunts, at fifty to a hundred points, using umpteen vessels and the re-commissioned factory death ship from the Antarctic.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Note that this is the IWC chair's proposal, along with an "outside expert". No one has agreed to it yet. Indeed, the current minister of agriculture forestries and fisheries in comments to media today rejected any proposal that requires Japan's research program be ended.

Likewise the anti-whaling movement doesn't like it, because they won't be able to whinge and moan about whaling anymore. That's the whole point of it for them - whinge moan complain, ask for donations, protest, then repeat. People have made careers out of this for the last 25 years. They aren't going to suddenly say "oh sure let's allow the Japanese to catch whales, even though we have been demonizing them since the late 1970's".

Details of the plan are on the IWC website for those interested in the details.

asiabytes,

That story about pet food was with regards to the intestines from Baird's beaked whales. The red meat is consumed by humans but the intestines of that species is not. Unless YOU want to eat the intestines of baird's beaked whales, that is.

timorborder,

The idea is to find a solution to the IWC's problems, or the whaling nations will just walk away and establish a new body to replace the IWC, etc.

My bets are on this being the ultimate outcome, given the responses seen to date.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You can't support an entire whaling industry with a 1 day hunt.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

smithinjapan,

if Japan agrees to this it means they admit they are out and out lying about the necessity of their research.

The reality is that the IWC is full of wreckers who are abusing the convention and not respecting the rights of Japanese to catch whales on a sustainable basis in even their own EEZ.

The proposal suggests that Japan might agree to give up or limit it's rights under the ICRW in exchange for having the wreckers at the IWC finally respect the rights of their coastal whalers.

This is of course ridiculous. If we were talking human rights it would be like saying to someone "ok I'll grant you the right to have adequate food but only if you give up or compromise on your right to have shelter".

But this is what the IWC has come to. The wreckers are enough in number to prevent the 3/4 majority of votes required for anything to be decided. Japan can't magically make the wreckers go away. So it has now the option to trade off one right in order to have another right respected. Whether or not such a move is going to result in an overall more satisfactory (although not completely) outcome for Japan is what Japan will decide, if the wreckers will accept it from their side.

I would actually think this sounds a little reasonable if Japan would hold up its end of the bargain, but I don't think it will.

The details haven't even been fleshed out, if you actually bothered to read them before automatically denouncing Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

davidattokyo has hit the nail on its head when he says "catch whales on a sustainable basis." if relegated to their own shores, they would need to catch on a sustainable basis. if they can prove that, perhaps they can commercially whale beyond their own coast. but looking at the tuna situation, i wonder if sustainability is even possible...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

smithinjapan:"What the UN should to is propose this, and if Japan says yes the UN punish Japan for lying about scientific research,blah blah blah"

The UN has no power. How can they punish Japan? What are the kleptocrats at the UN going to do, refuse the tens of millions Japan contributes? LOL. The naivete here is endlessly amusing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan has no right to kill whales - period. There is a moratorium on commercial whaling which Japan is flouting. They are also flouting CITES by killing endangered whales. Australia has already clearly shown that the so-called scientific information Japan has collected over the last 20 years (i.e. they have proven that whales eat fish, nothing more) can be collected by DNA samples from skin floating on the surface. No whales need to die and certainly should never.

After 200 + years of commercial whaling, not one species of whale has come close to recovering, despite the propaganda put out by Japan, which no other countries agree with. Whales are down to about 1% of former numbers. As an integral part of the marine ecosystem, by driving whales to extinction (which killing endangered whales does), Japan itself is contributing to the demise of the ocean, and with it, us.

Learn why whales are important to all live on this planet at www.fisherycrisis.com

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Of all industrialized nations, this one is advanced only in the products they make, which sometimes they can not even use in practical applications. And still, they want their citizens to conform to the same norms in their own country, yet when in comes to conform to International standards, they blatantly ignore all agreements and established protocols.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Marja I hope David responds to your way out of whack numbers. Japan doesn't hunt endangered whales. Your rant is way off base. OMG now i sound like a pro-whaler. But this proposal sounds like a reasonable compromise if both parties can swallow some pride and give up a little.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

maplegend,

No matter where any nations catches whales, they should do so on a sustainable basis.

Advice about sustainable catch limits should come from an independent advisory such as the IWC's scientific committee.

Regulation of legitimate whaling operations is easier than tuna fishing. DNA registries are already maintained so the source of any product on the market can be validated by national authorities. And at least with whales, every government wants no more than sustainable catch limits. With tuna, even the anti-whaling nations are happily sanctioning the over-exploitation of tuna resources.

The IWC has the opportunity to set sustainable catch quotas, but unfortunately this plan also is still not about sustainable limits but political trade-offs. The politicians should not be deciding the limits, they should be deciding the policy only, and leave the implementation details including sustainable limits up to the IWC's scientific committee.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

wuzzademcrat,

Well put.

Marja,

Japan has no right to kill whales - period.

Yes it does. It's a sovereign state and makes it's own decisions.

Australia has already clearly shown that

Australia hasn't shown what you said they have. They have produced no data comparable with that produced by Japan which is available through the IWC scientific committee's data availability protocols. All they churn out is theoretical half-baked ideas which have not been applied in practice in the same way that Japan's established data collection techniques have.

not one species of whale has come close to recovering

If this were true the IUCN would not be downlisting whale species they way they have done.

Whales are down to about 1% of former numbers.

Incorrect. "Whales" consists of various species. A number of them are certainly well above 1%. Even Australian scientists would conceed this of some Southern Hemisphere humpback populations. As for those that are about 1% of former numbers, no one is hunting them and no one is suggesting they should be hunted while that remains the case.

by driving whales to extinction (which killing endangered whales does),

Firstly, Japan is not killing endangered whales. Secondly, even killing endangered ones could be sustainable. It would only NOT be sustainable if the catches were too high, or the population had already dropped below it's critical depensation level. E.g., a population that is no longer viable would die out anyway without hunting. This may be the case with the North Atlantic right whale. I don't support any whaling that targets that species.

spudman

OMG now i sound like a pro-whaler.

:) Pro-whaling is just supporting sustainable exploitation of naturally renewable resources. The stigma of "evil" has only been attached to this through much brain-washing by the commercial anti-whaling industry.

But this proposal sounds like a reasonable compromise if both parties can swallow some pride and give up a little.

Mmm, short-term maybe, but I think at best this proposal would be able to keep the IWC on life-support for another 5 years, at the max. After that once again they'll have to revisit all the disagreements that exist and the IWC will still be a total mess - if not messier than it already is today.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A large part of the whaling implications is about Japan wanting/needing to feed itself. Japan has traditionally fed itself fish and grains - the land not being suited to livestock. Traditionally, the Japanese new much more about sustainable fishing and living way before the concept came to light in the west.

As Japan tries to get back on its feet, whaling is insurance. I assure you, whale meat is not a major part of anyone's diet in Japan. It's actually quite difficult to find (unless maybe you live in fishing villages or something - I wont speak for them). Living in the city I have had whale meat twice, and to me it tasted like cow liver and tuna put together. Not particularly appetizing.

Sorry, I've lost my train of thought... but I think one thing that I wanted to say, is that "opinion" tends to be very sharp and simplistic. Protesting against trade policies in your home country might be a more effective route to saving more 'whales'.

Btw, I can't see how an argument can be made for or against these things with an extremely vague noun like "whale". (the IUCN conservation status of the Antarctic Minke Whale is currently at "Data Deficient".)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry, davidattokyo already wrote what I was trying to say... in much better English :p

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They "cannot accept a proposal that discontinues our research hunting"? Well the civilized world cannot accept their archaic cruelty and sheer arrogance! Furthermore, 'research hunting' is an oxymoron. Which is it, 'research' or 'hunting', it cannot be both. However it is common knowledge that Japan kills whales for commercial profiteering because they have never published any findings from this so-called 'research' which has been going on for years. If they haven't discovered anything new by now, they are plain stupid and they obviously never will.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

good idea. let em whack all the whales they want in their international waters. there are plenty of whales out there outside their area. they say that whales are really smart creatures. if so they will head out to greener pastures. in this day n age, only the japs n norwegians are really interested so let em have em.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Davidintokyo: toes the party line when it comes to propaganda for pro whaling like. As i may mention, i have seen him on other sites spouting his bleeding stuff. Japan can reject what it likes. But the majority of people find whaling, especially the slow painfull deaths a disgrace.

This is the 21st century Japan, hurry up and join the rest!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan said Tuesday it will reject any proposal by the International Whaling Commission that halts research whaling in the Antarctic

Halt research whaling??? They never started it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are certain groups of people who want to kill and eat anything that moves and breathes, they suffer from heart disease, diabetes and all kinds of cancers. Then there are those who have lived long healthy lives on a widely varied plant-based diet. They don't suffer from obesity and they enjoy lots of energy free from disease, many of them are even athletes. There, you learn something new every day.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mystie,

Well the civilized world cannot accept their archaic cruelty and sheer arrogance!

Japan is a sovereign nation, and can make it's own decisions like every other nation. Your rhetoric about your "civilized world" is meaningless. And hey even the USA permits it's people to kill whales.

Which is it, 'research' or 'hunting', it cannot be both.

It's true that just killing a whale in itself is not research, but the data that is collected through the hunting operation is used for research. That's what it refers to.

The data produced has been used by even foreign scientists for important IWC work relating to Antartic minke whales.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What everyone seems to ignore is Japans voracious greed for resources. Japan is sucking the oceans dry of fish and must move on to whales. Japan is the biggest consumer of rainforest timber on the planet. Japan cares not one iota for the planet as long as there is money to be made.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

davidintokyo: I would hold up rcent US governments as bastians of civilised behaviour innit.

Whaling is barbaric and brutal, with amny whales suffering for up to 30 minutes. Japan rejects becoming a respected nation, well you reap what you saw innit!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

1,000 whales this season for research purposes eh? What exactly is the data they are seeking that requires such a large sample size?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is only human nature to want to kill everything around you. But eventually that practice becomes unsustainable.

Whaling has little to do with any trade imbalance, in fact they could make more money turning these death ships into whale tourism ships. -Sea Sheperd that concept.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Davidattokyo: ) Pro-whaling is just supporting sustainable exploitation of naturally renewable resources. The stigma of "evil" has only been attached to this through much brain-washing by the commercial anti-whaling industry. As much brain washing as the reporter who reports that whale meat is a sentimental favorite of Japanese of the post war generation. Hardly a huge favorite in the coastal town, I live in. Peruvian slamon is more popular and widely available in the super markets. Given this why does the whaling industry fob off its meat to elementary schools? Back on topic: humanely killing a mammal by drowning is hardly not "evil" those images help portray the Japanese as barbaric and lacking basic humanity for animals. Government backed cruelty at that. So yeah pro whalers still need to look at themselves as cruel and needlessly exporting their cruelty into international areas whose closest residents despise their presence there. That is at the crux of my hatred of the practice.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is no such thing as Scientific Whaling particularly by Japan. For years it's clearly been a Commercial Hunt. Japan have constantly been in Breach of CITIES and The Antarctic Treaty. Whaling is Brutal and Barbaric -- Cruel and Unsustainable. Governments are afraid to stand up to Japan for fear of Trade Reprisals. The end Product of this will drive Whales to Extinction. The only Organisation that challenges Japan is THE SSCS and Capt Paul Watson and a group of Volunteers. It is a disgrace that Humans will allow the extinction of many species . There must be a complete Moratorium on Whaling and all fishing of any kind for 50 Years or more to allow our Oceans to rebuild. The Truth is that Japans Whaling is run by a Criminal Organisation. I believe that soon Mr Obama will issue an ultimatum to Japan to cease Whaling totally and I look forward to seeing it enforced.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“We cannot accept a proposal that discontinues our research hunting,”

Now here's a thing. How come Japan, which carries out 'research hunting' in the name of scientific research for the benefit of the whale (yeah right), is always so opposed to the International Whaling Commission ? A nation that feels so strongly towards it's 'scientific research' for the whale which doesn't listen to any proposals put forward by the international body ? Or maybe they are just lying to everyone and don't have the balls to admit to their whaling industry...(yeah I know, stating the obvious and all that)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ditto what spudman, sanat, and northlondon said... Nice to see thoughtful posts rather than the knee-jerk drivel some post..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They aren't doing research. Point to one published research paper. None Nada, as we know it is a bunch of malarkey. The IWC should just change the "research" rules to state that all animals killed for research must be tossed back into the sea. After all it is just research, there is no need to put the meat into cans.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But, the Japanese whalers are doing research. They are killing whales to see how many they can kill before the population drops to the point of being endangered (again). To westerners this seems like a complete bastardization of logic, but remember, this is Japan we are taking about. I'm sure we will see Japan leave the IWC in the very near future. They know they can't hunt whales in their local waters to make it sustainable and only being able to do day trips just won't cut it. It's also disappointing Japan keeps pulling the "It's culture" theme out of the bag. It's commercial! Plain and simple!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Although I doubt this proposal will fly, I'm really glad that the IWC has proposed it. At the very least it rather clearly separates those who are against the antarctic whaling activities and wish to see the issue resolved in a rational way, amd those who are driven only by emotions and personal point of view with the goal of ending all whaling entirely.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It seems that Japan will continue to hunt whales in Antarctic water under IWC rules and international law. If majority of countries is anti-whaler, then protesters CAN amend the IWC rules to prohibit any scientific reaserch. It means IWC needs no science of marine resources. If minority (of countries) is anti-whaler, it will be impossible to amend the rules, then they have to keep chasing Jpn. I wonder nobody can amend IWC rules?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why doesn't Japan release there "scientific data" to the outside world ???

0 ( +0 / -0 )

From the Sydney Morning Herald. Not surprisingly, it's a little different to the Japanese story.

Greenpeace International said in a statement from Amsterdam that whaling should cease in the IWC's Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

"But if a phase-out was implemented directly after the IWC meeting in Madeira this coming June and was properly enforced and monitored, then it would be a big step towards whale conservation, as well as the protection of pristine Antarctic waters," it said.

The package is the result of intense negotiations under the guidance of US diplomat Bill Hogarth, a Bush Administration appointee. It has increased pressure by environmentalists on the Obama Administration to step in, and reject appeasement of Japan.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare said the package was a one-way compromise that would effectively let Japan lift the global moratorium on commercial whaling.

"The Australian Government was in the room when this plan was drafted," said IFAW's campaigns manager, Darren Kindleysides. "The Australian Government must now be clear on exactly what action will be taken to ensure this deeply flawed proposal proceeds no further than the recycling bin."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To westerners this seems like a complete bastardization of logic, but >remember, this is Japan we are taking about.

The western powers brought the global whale population to the brink of extinction. UK and Norway accounted fot 90% of the whales killed in the antarctic from the mid 1800s to early 1900s. Japan didn't even start whaling there until 1937. I once read a line thast starts let he who is..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Happy to see Japan rejecting this. Although of course if IWC does change the rules, Japan will simply withdraw from the organization and go to commercial whaling instead, rather like Norway and Iceland which don't recognize the IWC. Either way is fine. Japan should keep hunting whales in a managed and sustainable way, and the rest of the world which started the whale hunt, can do jack about it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To me it is obvious that this isn't research but commercial fishing. If Japan really wants to keep doing this they should just quit the IWC and stop the sham. Are there any real reasons not to leave the IWC? Seems like the whole organization is less useful than the UN.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan's whaling is a symbol of its insecurity at the government level. It feels a sad need to assert its independence in this twisted way, despite the fact that embarrasses we Japanese and hurts our international standing. We simply don't need whale meat. We don't need it at all. It is only a symbol of our leaders' insecurities.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan's whaling is a symbol of its insecurity at the government level. It feels a sad need to assert its independence in this twisted way, despite the fact that embarrasses we Japanese and hurts our international standing. We simply don't need whale meat. We don't need it at all. It is only a symbol of our leaders' insecurities.

This is a strawman arguement. You could say the same thing about any other product as well. Do we really need any other particular product? Aren't there always alternatives?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Midnightpromise,

Read the ICR's homepage very carefully and you'll find out what the research is for. You may not like it, but you can at least honestly attempt to understand it.

spudman,

The education boards etc in various areas request an portion of the meat that is allocated for "public use". Although it may not be the case where you live, in various places education boards are behind this.

northlondon,

How come Japan .... is always so opposed to the International Whaling Commission ?

Because the IWC isn't doing what it is supposed to do - regulate whaling internationally.

Disillusioned,

To westerners this seems like a complete bastardization of logic

Japan is applying standard marine resource management concepts to whales. It's not that hard to wrap one's head around but certainly some westerners have trouble with it.

Potsu,

Why doesn't Japan release there "scientific data" to the outside world ???

Data produced by the programmes sanctioned by Japan is available through the IWC Scientific Committee's data availability protocol.

ca1ic0cat,

Are there any real reasons not to leave the IWC?

Whale stocks roam freely through the world's oceans, so sustainable exploitation requires at least some degree of international co-ordination and co-operation. But whether the IWC itself is required, rather than a new, fixed organization to do it's job instead is certainly a very pertinent question.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The education boards etc in various areas request an portion of the meat that is allocated for "public use".

The Sankei Shimbun has an article on whalemeat in school dinners. A few quotes -

日本人の“クジラ離れ”に歯止めをかけ、先細りするクジラ文化を“復興”させたい考えだ。(The aim is to put the brakes on the tendency for Japanese people to avoid eating whalemeat and 'revive' a culture that is fizzling out)

いつまでも中高年向けの“珍味”としての流通に頼っていたら、市場は先細りになる一方だ」(If we continue to let whalemeat be just a delicacy for old men, the market will peter out)

学校給食用に限り、クジラ肉を市価の3分の1の価格で提供する (Whalemeat is offered for use in school dinners at a third of the market price)

これまでより多く食べてもらわなければ、翌年の調査が立ちゆかなくなる。給食用の肉を安価で提供するのには「次代の需要を掘り起こしたい」との狙いがあるというわけだ。(If people don't eat more whalemeat than they have in the past, the 'scientific research' won't be able to make ends meet. The aim of providing cheap meat for school dinners is to create demand in the next generation)

http://www.sankei.co.jp/enak/2006/jul/kiji/05whaleFood.html

All of which would seem to give the lie to the pro-whalers' claims that there is a demand for whalemeat in Japan and the whaling must continue in order to meet that demand. The opposite is true; demand must be created to support the whaling.
0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is simply true that Japan actually release/provide new scientific data of research every year to certain homepages, science magazines, zoological institutions, etc. All data are availabe for all people if you take a look. I think that Japan anyway has to do real scientific research as IWC rules say, otherwise they can't go hunt whales in Antarctic water

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cleo - I think that Japan government wishes commercial whaling again in future, but Japan has not been whaling for 20 some years because of moratorium. Japan had/has to use IWC rules to continue hunting whales in purpose of collecting scientific data. Today not many people eat whale meat because they did not continue to eat them for years. Japanese government wants to provide/support more meats to poeple like they used to do in 1960s and also wants to buy less food from US/Australia/China,etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good work Cleo!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

From the perspective of a specialist whale meat sales company, of course they want to create demand. This is no different to McDonalds (oh yeah you are anti-Mac as well huh).

But a market consists not only of sellers but buyers as well (ECON 001). Without such cooperation from education boards etc sellers would not have such luck in having their products eaten in schools. I doubt you would suggest that the education boards have vested interests in the success or failure of whale meat sales companies. So why then do you think there education boards around the country including whale meat in their school lunches?

And if you like, I can post some Japanese articles myself quoting various school children commenting positively on the flavour etc :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh whoops, you already bet me to it: "くさい、固いなどのイメージはどこへやら、普段は食べ残しの多い子供たちがぺろりと平らげる。"

"3月に行ったアンケートでは、もう1度食べたい給食の第1位に「クジラの竜田揚げ」があがった。"

I'll leave cleo the pleasure of translating this for all to enjoy.

Moderator: Readers, please do not post Japanese text on the discussion board.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan has not been whaling for 20 some years because of moratorium

Japan has engaged in its 'scientific research' every year since the moratorium began. And the numbers taken have risen virtually year-on-year.

Today not many people eat whale meat because they did not continue to eat them for years

Like I said, there is little to no market.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

From the perspective of a specialist whale meat sales company, of course they want to create demand

But that makes it commercial whaling, which as we all know is against both the letter and the spirit of the IWC moratorium....

So why then do you think there education boards around the country including whale meat in their school lunches?

1) Politics (especially in the 'traditional' whaling prefectures). 2) It's cheap (see my post above)

If you're going to post Japanese text, translate it yourself.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

cleo - Japanese government really wants to MAKE MORE and LARGER markets all over around Japan in future to provide enough whale meats for all people. That's their plan. I tasted some whale meats as I needed experience. I think Not Bad at all, rather good. Their plan is understanble to support their own people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

kwatt

Japanese government really wants to MAKE MORE and LARGER markets

Actually, I believe that this is their way of solving the pension problem. By getting the older folk to eat the heavy metal contaminated and poisonous whale meat they will die off sooner, hence fewer years of pension to collect.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

kwatt -

You don't make the market larger in order to 'provide enough for everyone', and that isn't what they say they're doing, either; they're trying to boost demand (=make more people want whalemeat) in order to support the market, which is the exact opposite of what you're saying. Without demand there is no market, and without a market not only there is no reason at all to continue the 'scientific research' fiasco - the fiasco will lose a large part of its funding.

Tjrandom -

That would work if they were pushing the stuff only in the old folks homes - but they're pushing it in schools, getting them young. Depriving the country of future taxpayers and placing a burden on the welfare system when the mercury poisoning kicks in.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

IWC's proposal should have been for Japan to ban Commercial whaling. labeling the proposal as "research whaling" solidifies Japan's case. i dont only see whale meat in schools, i see it in 5 star restaurants. A lot of money is changing hands here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

cleo,

Come on - I give you more credit than you act like you think I give you. The ICR's disposal of whale meat obtained through research programmes is not commercial. The whaling is thus not commercial. The whale meat company's sales of whale meat are commercial.

1) Politics (especially in the 'traditional' whaling prefectures).

More likely the traditional whaling areas are feeding their kids whales because their regions are traditional whaling areas, don't cha think?

As for non traditional whaling areas (such as Yokohama for example) I'm sure you have a great political conspiracy theory regarding school lunches there.

2) It's cheap (see my post above)

Indeed. Whale is in such demand that it would be too expensive for schools to purchase unless special arrangements were made for them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

PepinGalarga,

A lot of money is changing hands here.

Try telling that to cleo, she has convinced herself that there is little to no demand, despite foreign whalers wanting to get themselves some market share.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

TJrandom - Scientists say whole body of whale is least contaminated mercury poison/other elements, yes, some parts of body are really contaminated well. Scientists examined all parts of quite many whale bodies well when whale meat is edible. That's part of scientific research is going on.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

TJrandon - Scientists examine mercury poison of whale meat very carefully. If mercury quantity is exceeded, that meat is inedible. Whalers search whales contaminating very least mercury or nothing, acutually tuna or bigger fish are least contaminated mercury.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

cleo - You say no demand no market. They will make more demands more markets in future. If people often see a lot of whale meats with reasonable price on many supermarkets, I think that people naturally start to buy more and other food together.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not only Mercury but also DDT. DDT is highly cancerous and Mercury slows brain development and other issues at any level. This should not be served to any human child or pet. What is the acceptable level in your country?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They will make more demands more markets in future

That's what I said they are trying to do.

If people often see a lot of whale meats with reasonable price on many supermarkets, I think that people naturally start to buy more

But they're not just plonking it on the supermarket shelves and hoping people will put it in their shopping carts. They're making a point of feeding it to children in school dinners (where the kids are not supposed to leave anything - I've had my own come home in tears after being 'encouraged' to eat natto in his school dinner, so I know it isn't a 'leave it if you don't like it' situation) with the express intent of 'getting them while they're young'. This is not filling an existing need, it's trying to create a new one.

Whale is in such demand....

Oh come on yourself, david - if the stuff is flying off the shelves like you claim, how come they're trying so hard to create demand among the young?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is getting ridiculous...

I believe cleo is saying presently the people don't prefer to eat it (ie. no demand by the consumers, so no need to hunt - research or otherwise - and distribute it), while davidattokyo is saying the government is trying to encourage its consummation because the government sees a need to provide food for its ppl in a way more independent of other countries' trade interests (ie. there is a demand for it as a nation, and the research is to find out if it's a realistic option - both whale population and contamination -wise). You're talking about "Demand" on two completely different levels.

So if the above views are both true, Japan is NOT whaling commercially and IS whaling for research.

I'm sure this has been posted before somewhere, but the details are out there, for those who care to really look and see...

http://www.icrwhale.org/JARPAResults.htm

as kwatt says; it includes discussion on collecting data for contaminants.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

maybe Japan has already eaten its coastal whales?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Like all meats, whale meat is of different grades.

If any type of research is being done to measure levels of mercury or heavy metals in whale meat meant for consumption, that is "Food Research", not biological research.

I had never seen any type of large scale research program that involved killing every specimen caught.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Actually fish around the world are going to die off by 2048 since were vacuuming up the oceans at ever increasing rates. Japan has to get off international fishing period, if its to actually feed people in less than 50 years. I bet no one is having that discussion yet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the government is trying to encourage its consummation

I hope you mean consumption. Otherwise that's pretty ickkky.

You're talking about "Demand" on two completely different levels.

When david says 'Whale is in such demand that it would be too expensive for schools to purchase unless special arrangements were made for them.', I think he's using demand in the same way I'm using it, ie whether people want to eat the stuff or not.

On the other level, it is not an elected government's place to tell people what they should want to eat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

cleo,

if the stuff is flying off the shelves like you claim, how come they're trying so hard to create demand among the young?

Ummmm, see my previous comments (did you ignore it?)

hannari,

I reckon the Japanese population will eat whales regardless of what the government says about it. The Japanese population includes both producers and consumers, and both sides of the equation generally regard whales as food. The government's role is to represent the interests of the Japanese population.

PepinGalarga,

If any type of research is being done to measure levels of mercury or heavy metals in whale meat meant for consumption, that is "Food Research", not biological research.

The information is obviously pertinent to the condition of the whales themselves, not only the humans that are going to eat them.

sf2k,

Actually fish around the world are going to die off by 2048 since

And just how accurate do you think that prediction is going to be.

If you are worried about over-exploitation then you should be for sustainable exploitation. As far as whales are concerned the exploitation today is not excessive.

cleo,

it is not an elected government's place to tell people what they should want to eat.

I agree. That's not got a lot to do with education boards including whale on their menus as well as pork beef and whatever, does it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mooseXXXXXX - Any food contaminted exceeded quantity of mercury/DDT/whatever is inedible, so obviously nobody eats such a food but very least contaminted food is generally edible and safe for average life 70-80 years span in Japan, however it might be trouble if you live more 100 years. People get old enough and naturally pass away before they get sick.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

it might be trouble if you live more 100 years

I plan to live that long - and so long as I do not eat whale and other contaminants, I have a very good chance at doing so as most of my relatives lave lived past 97.

Of course eating whales might be why you suggest only 70-80.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

yes, sorry... 'consumption', not the other. 0_o;

On the other level, it is not an elected government's place to tell people what they should want to eat.

I agree with you there in terms of the issue of forcing students to eat kyu-shoku, but I think that's a whole different can of worms really...

I think it IS an elected government's role to encourage areas that are not immediately profitable, but is for the greater good of the society. "Greater good" obviously is defined in many ways by different governments and hence the need for honest and civilized discussion that addresses reality.

yes, sorry... 'consumption', not the other. 0_o;

On the other level, it is not an elected government's place to tell people what they should want to eat.

I agree with you there in terms of the issue of forcing students to eat kyu-shoku, but I think that's a whole different can of worms really...

I think it IS an elected government's role to encourage areas that are not immediately profitable, but is for the greater good of the society. "Greater good" obviously is defined in many ways by different governments and hence the need for honest and civilized discussion that addresses reality.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

TJrandom - I think that all food are unfortunately contaminted something of chemicals besides mercury/DDT. It is really hard to avoid all chemicals and least contaminants of fish. I think everybody and you already have taken some since you were born. Sickness depends how often people take whale meats. In Japan elderly people used to eat whale meats (for a long time). As long as I know, majority of people lived long enough and did not die from mercury/DDT poisoning. Average life in Japan about 74 years for men and about 84 years for women. Most pass away before 100 years old.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

david, this is what you said about demand for whalemeat:

Whale is in such demand that it would be too expensive for schools to purchase unless special arrangements were made for them.

If they already can't sell it fast enough, why do they have to snatch it from the slobbering jaws of the old men who are apparently eager to pay good money for it, and put it subsidised on school dinner plates? They don't do that with any other even moderately expensive foodstuff. Why do it with whalemeat?

Because it's a political decision to 'catch 'em young' and plant in today's kids the same feelings of nostalgia that the old men have. If there was already the demand for the stuff you claim there is, there would be no need to force-feed the little ones at school - Mum and Dad would be putting it joyfully on the dinner table at home. And they don't. There is no demand for it, except among the slobbery old men. And they'll soon be gone, and there will be no excuse at all left for killing whales. That's why they're trying to create demand among the upcoming generation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think that comment.."whale is in such demand" is one of the funniest things I've read on this debate.Sounding sillier and more desperate every post...especially to foreigners living in this country.A little bit too simplistic...that childish rhetoric might work with some Japanese,but c'mon,with a majority of educated foreigners it's almost embarrassing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

cleo,

If they already can't sell it fast enough

The inventory ratio index for whale meat indicates that this presumption is incorrect.

why do they have to snatch it from ... old men who are apparently eager to pay good money for it, and put it subsidised on school dinner plates?

The government funds this operation for scientific purposes. If education boards are keen to secure some whale for school lunches, should the government should turn around and tell them "no, sorry we are selling to the highest bidder"? Gee that sounds like it would go down just splendid.

Why do it with whalemeat?

Because it's obtained through a publicly funded research operation.

Because it's a political decision to 'catch 'em young' and plant in today's kids the same feelings of nostalgia that the old men have.

You can characterise the motivations of the education boards etc as you please. Go ahead - have fun.

there would be no need to force-feed the little ones at school

Again - education boards include all sorts of food in their school lunches. You sound like your problem is with school lunches rather than with whales.

Mum and Dad would be putting it joyfully on the dinner table at home. And they don't.

As you know, there is limited supply and for normal consumers it's only available at expensive prices.

There is no demand for it, except among the slobbery old men.

And I think this statement sums up the quality of your arguments.

there will be no excuse at all left for killing whales. That's why they're trying to create demand among the upcoming generation.

I don't imagine many other people would think such an analysis makes any sense at all.

At the end of the day, the best solution is to allow a resumption of commercial whaling. That way cleo don't have to feel like her family is supporting it through taxes and the commercial operators can distribute the meat products in accordance with a business plan. Although you don't like whales being killed, presumably you could at least regard this as an improvement, right cleo?

Or are you going to complain about it no matter what, using whatever excuses you have available to you? Your time, your life :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

should the government should turn around and tell them "no, sorry we are selling to the highest bidder"?

When the subsidy is coming out of taxes, hell yeah.

Although you don't like whales being killed, presumably you could at least regard this as an improvement

I would certainly prefer not to have to pay for something I abhor.

Or are you going to complain about it no matter what

So long as the killing methods remain inhumane and cruel, yes. And I don't see how they could possibly be brought up to normal animal welfare standards.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

cleo,

When the subsidy is coming out of taxes, hell yeah.

So you suggest they ought to break the law. Why do I suspect you'd then be one of the first to complain about it..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

you suggest they ought to break the law

Not at all. I suggest they stop killing whales.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan is continuing to hunt in the Australian Antarctic Territory. This is insane.

I'll be donating more money to Sea Shepherd. They are the only ones capable of stopping this illegal invasion of Australian sovereign waters.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites