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Japan kicks off first whale hunt since U.N. court ruling

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"Like the United States, Japan extensively hunted whales in the 19th century, when they were a source of fuel and food."

Really? In the 1800s? Like the U.S. on a global scale?

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

A Japanese whaling fleet is set to leave port Saturday in the first hunt since the UN’s top court last month ordered Tokyo to stop killing whales in the Antarctic.

This is not quite right. The ruling was not a blanket ban on whaling in the Antarctic. It ruled that JARPAII (Japan's whaling program) was not scientific, and should be halted and reformed.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

So long as they do the whaling in their own territory, everything is fine. If they attempt to cross southern ocean for whale hunt, they absolutely have no respect for the other countries. By hunting the whales in the southern ocean, it may affect the marine life cycle.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

Good luck! I hope the Nisshin Maru hits an iceberg, but nobody is injured.

8 ( +18 / -10 )

I hope they realize that the term "non-lethal" means that they don't kill them.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

The article has more holes than a sieve and I am left with more questions than answers.

They say the Japanese are embarking on the first hunt. Then they say non-lethal methods. Then they say the season has been called off. I feel like my brain is being drawn and quartered.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

I fail to see the need for killing more whales when there is how many thousands of tonnes of it sitting in some wharehouse?

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Shouldn't they eat what they've killed already first?

6 ( +12 / -6 )

I agree with Crimson and Clover. The headline is very sensational but then goes on to say they have called the season off, so the article needs some revision if it is to make sense. At any rate, if their research is really going to be "non-lethal" to determine whether commercial hunting is viable then I have no problem. If, however, they are going in order to confirm with a biased report what their country is willing to financially subsidise and the people are in favour of -- despite the fact that most of Japan doesn't even eat whale meat (!) then their research is just a cover for an inevitable hunt. Supporting something simply in the name of "tradition", particularly when the tradition contravenes a global agreement, means that the tradition is not only outmoded and archaic but needs to be abandoned.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Go Japan

-14 ( +4 / -18 )

Where do you guys get the fact you always state "tonnes of whale meat in warehouses frozen". Where did you hear this information?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

They are so majestic. Wish the hunters could find a new source of income.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Whaling will be conducted within a 50 mile (80km) radius of Ayukawa. The whaling will continue until 51 whales are captured by early June, whichever is sooner.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Only took them a couple of months to backpedal.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

Where do you guys get the fact you always state "tonnes of whale meat in warehouses frozen". Where did you hear this information?

That's actually a pretty good question. I've always heard that there were x number of tonnes warehoused, but I don't think I've ever seen the primary source of that info.

I have no doubt that it's true, mind. Pretty much everything that we eat has been through cold storage at one point, and maintaining stockpiles of frozen meats is as common as storing stockpiles of grain.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Only took them a couple of months to backpedal

Please read the article. You are referring to the Antarctic hunt, which will not be conducted.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Where do you guys get the fact you always state "tonnes of whale meat in warehouses frozen". Where did you hear this information?

Maybe biased, maybe true. Worth a read anyway

Early in 2009, shops in Japan had to reduce whale meat prices by half to move stockpiles; more than 4,000 tonnes of frozen whale meat was still in storage at the close of 2009.

http://uk.whales.org/issues/whaling-in-japan

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Well if Japan must Whale Dont ever expect sympathy again fro Natural occurrences for assistance when money was poured into japan to assist those that lost their homes it was not meant to support whaling or repair damaged whalers.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Japan does multiple hunts every year, this one is in Japanese waters another one is in the northern regions.

The ICJ ruling only applies to the Antarctic hunt.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Ron Barnes

Well if Japan must Whale Dont ever expect sympathy again fro Natural occurrences for assistance when money was poured into japan to assist those that lost their homes it was not meant to support whaling or repair damaged whalers.

You are misinformed. Not a single yen of the funds donated to Japan by foreign governments, relief organizations, private entities, etc. was spent on the research whaling. Funds earmarked at one point for disaster relief within the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism's budget was reallocated to fund research whaling. It's well within the rights of the Government of Japan to determine how it wishes to spend it's own tax revenue. Opponents of Japan's whaling program keep making this accusation that Japan misused disaster relief donations but it's simply not true. Stop repeating it.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Opponents of Japan's whaling program keep making this accusation that Japan misused disaster relief donations but it's simply not true. Stop repeating it

Not only that, but it's worth repeating what is in the article:

The town on Japan’s northeast coast was ravaged by Japan’s 2011 tsunami and still bears the scars of the disaster.

The Japanese government did allocate some money to the whaling industry and the way the media and commentators on here portray it, that money didn't go to Tohoku.

This article certainly casts doubt on that assumption.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Where's Moby Dick when you need him?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japan is not the only country that whales - Iceland, Norway, Denmark do also among others

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Japan made a mockery of the ICJ ruling with this move.. will be interesting if they still push for South Korea to take the Dokdo/Takeshima issue to the ICJ...

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Should the world allow Japan to do whatever it wants?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mitch CohenApr. 26, 2014 - 08:39PM JST Japan made a mockery of the ICJ ruling with this move..

No they didn't. Read the ICJ ruling it has no bearing on COASTAL HUNTING or anywhere other than the Antarctic. And even then it addresses only the Jarpa III program in it;s current form.

will be interesting if they still push for South Korea to take the Dokdo/Takeshima issue to the ICJ...

They should because South Korea are cowards continuing to avoid ICJ settlement after illegal occupation.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

@Disillusioned, I think Nishinmaru IS the iceberg..

Happy that ICJ isn't touching Ultra right wing nationalists torturing gaijins in group, cops outspokenly "practicing" on foreigners, declining demography possibly due to JAXA shooting at people left and right, or even child pornography.

As long as the ICJ is "ordering" Tokyo to cease and desist certain hunt for whales, I am happy.

Sure thang.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

from what I know, this is coastal whaling off Ayukawa, unrelated to the Antarctic Whaling.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The moral of the story children, that it is OK to hunt endangered animals as long as they are in your territory.

WHAT?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

NeoJamalApr. 27, 2014 - 06:30AM JST The moral of the story children, that it is OK to hunt endangered animals as long as they are in your territory. WHAT?

Even children know that some species are endangered and some aren't. Or do you believe there is only one species of cetacean called "whale"?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Japan should come up with a whale hunting quota and a program to ensure the continuous reproduction of whale for sustainability.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I continue to be disgusted by the Conduct of the Japanese, their blatant disregard for life, law and dignity! After the ruling, there was a very elaborate buffet held with numerous officials and the "elite" of Toyko, etc. Where they blatantly dined on whale products! With ALL the VERY negative publicity over the Taiji dolphin & whale capture and slaughter, you would think that ALL Japanese would be truly concerned about their image and their honor- guess NOT!! The fact that they are pretty much flipping the world the finger is enough for me and thousands of others to pressure our President here in the USA to NOT accept the TPP, nor help Japan rebuild, nor help them with territory feuds with China!! Become poisoned by the radiation and ALL the other chemicals that were and are still being released into the oceans there! The "meat" is already FULL of mercury and PCB'S to begin with and extremely unsafe for consumption! The Japanese refuse to progress into the 21st century and continue to cling to barbaric, inhumane, "traditions, and refuse to realize that with education, awareness and civilization comes an ultimate end to some traditions, especially ones that are egregious, unnecessary and threaten an ENDANGERED species-MANY of the whales that are hunted are ENDANGERED! If the "hunts' continue, with ALL the other threats these magnificent creatures face, they will ALL ultimately face extinction too! The only thing Japan is accomplishing here is to show the world that they really aren't very sophisticated, or as educated or as honorable as they have been pretending to be! The TRUE colors are NOW showing! So, Like the USA, they could certainly end this "tradition"!!! So, what have we replaced it with???? How about EcoTours, Whale Watching for one!!??? WOW!!! If Japan can't find other, more state-of-the-art jobs for these people, they have NO place in the 21st century world! They are draconians, dishonest and disrespectful!! I am BOYCOTTING Japan products and so are my friends and family!

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Where they blatantly dined on whale products!

The ruling never said dining on whale meat was illegal.

The "meat" is already FULL of mercury and PCB'S to begin with and extremely unsafe for consumption!

No actually whale meat is no more unsafe than other seafoods, and whale meat from Antarctica is actually safer than most other seafood.

If the "hunts' continue, with ALL the other threats these magnificent creatures face, they will ALL ultimately face extinction too!

Well the "hunts' have been going on for over 25 years and none of the "hunted' species are showing population decreases. They are all either stable or increasing. So no, they won't ALL ultimately face extinction.

Starting to BOYCOTT Japan over this current situation, rather than at some earlier point in the over 25 year history of japan's research whaling, seems kind of like reacting very late.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I for one continue to be disgusted by people who raise one species of animal to human status while treating all others as a food source. Especially when they aren't endangered.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes, the U.S. whaled in the 1800s. Does "Moby Dick" mean nothing to you? In fact one of the most endangered whale species in the world is the North Atlantic Right Whale, which was one of the main objects of the U.S. hunts. Whale was hunted for the oil and teeth/baleen were used as the stays for women's corsets.

Um, the people who "blatantly" ate whale are a small minority of pro-whaling fanatics and this event goes on every.single.year - it's just coincidence it came after the ICJ ruling. The ICJ also didn't address the idea of eating whale. I'd suggest a more moderate take on the whole issue because that kind of EMOTIONAL WRITING will just put peoples' backs up, the way some Japanese (and non-Japanese) resent Sea Shepherd compared to Greenpeace because they're much more in your face. It doesn't help your movement and your goals. Anybody told too arbitrarily what not to do will resent it as a reflex - look at teenagers.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Christopher SmithApr. 26, 2014 - 09:46AM JST I fail to see the need for killing more whales when there is how many thousands of tonnes of it sitting in some wharehouse?

Whale meat does not age particularly well. :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lisa.

Japan has a very active whale watching Industry.

Your boycotting is as useful as sanctions = not at all as you are hurting the average man in the street nothing more. Maybe me and my friends should boycott USA products as we disagree with people like you and your government.

Sorry, your boycotting is a childish knee-jerk reaction and nothing more, IMHO. As was said lots of negative things can be found anywhere without much looking.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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