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Japan to propose resuming commercial whaling at IWC meeting in Sept

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I've had Whale as sashimi in Hakodate, as Kara age in the Tukiji market (outside) and had it in a bento I bought at the Nagasaki Station. Whale meat isn't eaten by everyone but it certainly can be found. It's not bad but nothing special either. Basically very lean red meat.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

mmwkdw,

Who consumes Whale meat within Japan anyway ?

I asked the same question, got two minus clicks and no answer.

I'd really like to know because I never see whale meat on menus or in supermarkets anywhere.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Who consumes Whale meat within Japan anyway ?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@BertieWooster Who eats kujira in Japan anyway? I've seen small packs of "bacon" in Hokkaido, but nowhere else.

I find fresh kujira in many of the more expensive supermarkets in Kanto and Kansai region when the ships come back from their 'research' so someone must be eating it. I also find canned kujira in the local discount store. Looks terrible.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That all said, it becomes a question of personal ideas about ethics and so forth, and most people happily tuck away meat themselves...

I agree it is a problem of personal ethics, but the Anti-whaling movement doesn't care what your ethics are on the problem, they will force you to take the "right" choice.

Not to mention that most anti-whaling people are closet vegan with ideas of "animal liberation", which is something most people would find insane.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"Don't be fooled. Pushing for whaling is strictly political."

And so is anti whaling. Had the Aussies known when to shut up, Japan probably had stopped for long time :-)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I know I'm at least in this comment section in the minority

I don’t know. These days I think people have come to the realization that Japan’s research whaling isn’t driving minke whales to extinction, and so intuitively realize deep down that “commercial whaling” (commercial as in beer, beef, what have you) isn’t necessarily going to do so either.

Whaling these days is for food, not industrial oil products, the circumstances have changed.

And I think people can rightly assume that scientific knowledge (generally, not specific to Japan’s activities) has advanced and sustainable whaling is certainly possible.

That all said, it becomes a question of personal ideas about ethics and so forth, and most people happily tuck away meat themselves...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

So, you buy the line that whale is this ancient, traditional Japanese cuisine. While whaling has existed in Japan since prehistoric times, it did not become widespread until the 20th century, and eating whale did not become common until the late 1940s, when whale meat was introduced into school lunches to make up for nutritional shortages in the post-WWII period. By the 1970s the population had already moved on from whale meat---today, most Japanese who didn't grow up in the post-war period have never even tried whale meat. Those who have, typically consider it inferior to other meats, such as beef. It cave 5th this state of affairs a generation before the moratorium cane into effect.

Don't be fooled. Pushing for whaling is strictly political.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japanese people have a very high respect for animals, so it's hard to imagine that this is your typical joy hunt. However, of the many Japanese people that I've talked to, they either (1) have never tried whale, and have no interest in trying it, or (2) have tried it, but didn't really care for it. Where is this huge market that some are claiming? I don't regularly see whale meat in grocery stores or on restaurant menus. Seems to be a waste of time and effort, like Trump's effort to save the dying coal industry in exchange for votes.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

This is one of those issues in which I know I'm at least in this comment section in the minority, but I will still state my opinion, until I can hear a good enough argument, and not just appeals to emotion or plain ad-hominem attacks.

As the first poster said in their first post, for most of the world, this problem has been already decided as "Whaling is wrong", even thou in some parts of the world history, whaling was not just common, but a necessity of the time.

My position doesn't come as "It is a cultural thing", or "We need to protect culture", and I'm not someone who believes that protecting traditions makes any sense, even more if they aren't that good of traditions, but the anti-whaling movement has proved to be a little to weird from my perspective.

The original purpose of the IWC was to "provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry". It was basically set as a international governing body to avoid extinction of whales because of overhunting, and to protect endangered species. But in 1982 it adopted a moratorium after basically most of the members became part of the anti-whaling environmental movement, basically using their power transform the IWC into something it was never meant to be, since the idea of the moratorium was based supposedly to be a "ten-year moratorium on commercial whaling to allow whale stocks to recover", but in the end it became a indefinite moratorium saying that "This provision will be kept under review, based upon the best scientific advice, and by 1990 at the latest the Commission will undertake a comprehensive assessment of the effects of this decision on whale stocks and consider modification of this provision and the establishment of other catch limits.", but this moratorium wasn't even under the advice from the Scientific Committee.

So, basically, environmentalists took control of the IWC and made it a governing body to prohibit whaling.

The anti-whaling movement is just too weird for me, because for some reason they decided that Whales are somehow an special animal, some times even making reference to their intelligence and other anthropomorphic traits, as a reason why whaling is wrong.

Some time they make the argument that they are endangered, but oppose whaling even for not endangered species.

As I see it, the anti-whale movement is kind of another irrational environmentalist movement based more on feelings than in substance.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Japan is set to propose resuming commercial whaling...

They should have done it long time ago.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

"We are not going to drag this out."

Yeah, it’s only been 30 years since this “moratorium” was imposed. Best not drag things out.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Of the IWC's 88 members, 40 support whaling while the remaining 48 are against the practice

This begs the obvious question - why are there 48 countries members of an organization that was created to "regulate the whaling industry" and apply conservation to "regulate whale stocks for the benefit of the whaling industry"?  This is like a crowd of vegetarians being members of the Beef Association and constantly disrupting it to enforce their goal of stopping all people from eating beef.

Japan has foolishly played the IWC game properly, remaining a member, carrying out scientific whaling per IWC Art 8, submitting data to the IWC Scientific Committee all in the hopes of getting the IWC to apply the data to lift the "moratorium" which was supposed to be temporary, in order to commercially hunt certain non-endangered abundant species. Yet the result has been that Japan has taken more bashing than other nations which have simply rejected the moratorium and hunt.

At this point the IWC is a joke, a political circus which has lost it's original raison d'etre and Japan might as well as join the ranks of other nations like Norway and Iceland which carry out commercial whaling, and Canada which left the IWC and continues aboriginal whaling.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Their country, their culture, their rules. No one has the right here or anywhere else to cast judgement, and no one here would appreciate a Japanese person telling other countries what to do or not to do.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

The Antarctic Ocean is fragile and endangered. Already there are the seabed British scientists have discovered micro plastic. A worrying discovery. All activity other than the real scientific research should stop.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Benefits from Japan's research program have not been promoted so it must be just a cover for whaling.

This is not true. There have been dozens of scientific reports and information made available to the public in brochures on the findings of the Japanese research program. 

The difficulty faced by the Japanese researchers is the interest of western media, who have failed to run stories in newspapers etc about the results. The results are available on the The Institute of Cetacean Research Website: http://www.icrwhale.org/eng-index.htm

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Is the research being undertaken by Japan in the Southern Ocean an illegal activity not authorised by the International Whaling Commission?

In Article VIII of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW), the Contracting Parties have an unrestricted right to take whales for scientific research. Japan is a signatory to this Convention. 

When the commercial whaling moratorium was introduced in 1982, the main reason the anti-whaling nations gave for its introduction was the uncertainty surrounding the scientific data then available. In other words, they argued that safe management of whales was not possible because knowledge of the number of whales, age composition, sex ratio, and natural mortality rate was ambiguous. 

The research catch by Japan was launched to answer such questions and resolve the uncertainties. 

Many members of the IWC Scientific Committee recognize the importance of the research, and value highly their results. However, during the past several years, the IWC anti-whaling majority has repeatedly passed resolutions calling on Japan to reconsider the current research catch and insisting that research should be limited to non-lethal methods. 

Anti-whaling proponents have tried to label the research catch as commercial whaling in disguise, but this is a tactic to discredit the research effort.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

The whaling debate has shifted from scientific discussion to arguments on animal rights as perceived by certain countries and groups. Since most Western nations are opposed to whaling, why doesn't Japan just abandon its tradition?

Attitudes toward animals are a part of national cultures. No nations should try to impose their attitudes on others.

Anti-whaling countries regard whales as sacred, and want the ban on whaling to continue on the grounds that a humane killing method is not ensured or that whaling itself is unethical.

But it is questionable whether the whaling conducted by westerners in the past was humane or ethical. To this argument, the westerners might respond that was the very reason for them to have halted whaling.

But this argument is nothing but a misconception. Whaling in western countries was conducted to collect whale oil, whether it was ancient sailing-boat-type whaling or modern whaling. It died out naturally as it lost its industrial importance after petroleum became more readily available.

On the other hand, whaling in Japan was mainly carried out for the production of meat, and because of strong demand for whalemeat in the domestic market, whaling can still continue to be viable.

Not all western countries are anti-whaling although anti-whaling attitudes are prevalent. Generally Anglo-Saxon countries take an anti-whaling position, but Iceland, Norway and Denmark regard whales as food.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

There is arguably no such thing as "commercial whaling"

it was a 19th century business model.

where is the market?

heavily govt. subsidized whaling is not commercially viable.

use my taxes to supporr child care providers please.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Aren't all whales endangered?

No whales have ever been hunted to extinction, nor are they likely to be. Out of all of the 80 species, only a limited number traditionally have been hunted, such as blue whales, fin whales, minke whales, humpback whales, sperm whales and gray whales.

When whales were over-hunted, species such as blue whales and right whales were reduced to very low population levels, but these species now have been fully protected for decades.

Japan strongly believes that they should continue to be protected.

On the other hand, there are species which are abundant enough that marine management is needed, such as the Antarctic and northwestern Pacific minke whales, northwestern Pacific Bryde's whales, and northwestern Pacific Sei whales.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

If they do this the world will be taking a huge step back into the past... have they learned nothing? It was the massacre of the whales that led to their near extinction in the past... now they want to do it again?

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Having watched this issue through the decades what to say? Its no more a greenpeace concern.

A country that eats dolphines, only the politicians eat whale these days. The buissnes people hereabouts are just smarter and up to date than govt.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

zichi, than you for presenting factual content , alas, fact checking falls on deaf ears, and to those who believe all the rhetoric that comes from the political elite. All the so called scientific research has failed to inform the Japanese people about the benefits of whale meat, oh! wait a minute , they don't want the Japanese public to now the truth about whale meat and other creatures that inhabit our, once were, pristine oceans :https://eia-international.org/whale-dolphin-meat-tested-in-japan-exceeds-mercury-limits. Oh, the beauty of the internet, it provides so much information for those prepared to look.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Who eats kujira in Japan anyway? I've seen small packs of "bacon" in Hokkaido, but nowhere else.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Stop imposing your BS cultural values on Japan!!!

I think all people who pay the yen tax also have a right to express how it should be spent or not. The whaling industry employs less than a thousand workers and there's now only one whaling fleet in existence when before there were 5-6. The industry receives ¥800 million every year in subsidies and there's even a current ¥100 million study on whether the factory whaling ship, which is privately owned should be replaced.

If the industry is so needed then let it stand on its own without the subsidies. Polls show that people no longer eat as much whale as they once did. My Japanese wife has never eaten it.

Whaling in the Antarctic is not a long time whaling tradition which can only be achieved by using a factory ship and factory ships were not used by Japan until the 1930s.

Not all Japanese even support whaling and its more about politics than feeding the masses and keeping those rightwing nationalist types happy and ensuring their votes come election time.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

They already have a commercial whaling program masquerading as a research program so why is this necessary?

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

"Tuesday's approval by the Liberal Democratic Party came amid emerging calls from some government officials and ruling party lawmakers that Japan should weigh withdrawal from the IWC."

I whole heartily agree. Japan should withdraw from the IWC. As a result, Japan could hunt as it pleases.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

The countries don't need to hunt whales to support whaling.

Im sure some of them were "bought" by Japanese to vote in favor of whaling but maybe they looked at the studies and agreed it is okay to hunt whales. I'm personally in favor of whales. It doesn't seem like whales are going extinct.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Some of the countries supporting whaling don't have a coastline. A return to whaling without the government subsidies would bankrupt the already bankrupt industry.

On average, Japanese eat less than 15 gms of whale meat pa.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Japan has yet to give one solid reason as to why the seek to recommence commercial whaling.

Because the whaling fleet is headquartered in Yamaguchi, home base of....Shinzo Abe. How do you like that sontaku?

5 ( +14 / -9 )

It is unfortunate that this is a political rather than scientific discussion.

Scientific discussion? Did you check the science before coming up with this statement? Apparently not, nor the old dudes governing this country. Science have shown that the majority of whales have advanced intellectual capabilities, have profound feelings (like most of big mammals anyway) and communicate with a sophisticated language, have dialects and call each other by name (see the rich scientific documentation on the matter). Yes the science is telling that massacring those creature is criminal.

Now, the problem with Japan is that it refuses to admit the science and only considers commercial considerations based on quotas of available whales to kill. This view is totally outdated since the science has clearly raised the important question here. Is it moral to kill whales? That's the debate, not whether there are enough of them to kill.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

@taj - And of the 48 countries who oppose whaling, how many of those were bought?

Wow! You really need to do some research mate. Most of the countries who support whaling do not have any history of whaling and have no interest in it. However, they do have nice new buildings, fishing boats and other industries all paid for by the Japanese Fisheries Ministry.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Why on Earth does Japan even need to make this ludicrous proposal? Aren't enough animals slaughtered for our own selfish pleasure? Surely we can be content with what we have. Oh no, let's kill more and more and more. Makes complete sense.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

I wonder whaling today is profitable as a business in Japan. Ordinary consumers are not buying and eating whale meat. We had better stop any whaling considering the images we give to the world. It may be wise for us to adjust ourselves to the western civilization and their standard.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

While many countries stopped commercial whaling, Japan did not. It only changed the name from commercial to scientific and continued on as if nothing had changed. Why it even bothers to attempt to have commercial whaling reinstated is a mystery. Think of the cost of changing all the letterhead and business cards back to "Japanese commercial whaling" from "Japanese Scientific Whaling". After all it is the only thing that would change for Japan from its current status.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

I still don't want my tax yen wasted on this pathetic charade though!

1 ( +10 / -9 )

And, of the 40 countries that support whaling, 35 of these countries' support was bought buy Japan.

And of the 48 countries who oppose whaling, how many of those were bought?

It is unfortunate that this is a political rather than scientific discussion.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

At least that would be more honest than the current jiggery-pokery.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Better be careful what you wish for - to ensure fairness, if the IWC were to allow commercial whaling, each member would be given a quota, and Japan might find its quota smaller than the number it currently takes in the name of "research."

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Of the IWC's 88 members, 40 support whaling while the remaining 48 are against the practice, according to Japan's Fisheries Agency.

And, of the 40 countries that support whaling, 35 of these countries' support was bought buy Japan.

Japan should weigh withdrawal from the IWC.

If Japan withdraws from the IWC and hunts whales in the southern ocean sanctuary, it will make them poachers. I don't think Japan is that stupid!

Japan is set to propose resuming commercial whaling of some species at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission in September.

It's quite obvious the Japanese bulldog is not going to let go of the whale hunting bone. Therefore, they should be made to prove there is a sufficient market to sell the meat from these whales and it is not going to be used as fertilizer and dog food. At present, there are large stockpiles of whale meat in freezers all over Japan that they cannot give away. They do trade whale meat with Iceland, who ignores the whale hunting ban. Pieces of blue whale meat have been traded from Iceland, which is still highly endangered. Iceland has a relatively small population and hunts a few thousand whales every year, which is consumed by the Icelandic people. However, the Japanese whalers have yen signs in their eyes and will want to be catching tens of thousands of whales every season with a very small market to sell the meat for consumption. The whale numbers will not stay abundant for long if they do. Japan has proven many times they have very little regard for sea life conservation and ignore fish catch quotas, tunas are a very good example.

From all this bickering at the IWC and all the trouble with Whale Wars, Japan has yet to give one solid reason as to why the seek to recommence commercial whaling. The cultural argument is total malarky with less than 1% of the population regularly consuming whale meat. The commercial success is also malarky simply because there is not a large enough market for the meat to make it a prosperous business venture. It makes absolutely no sense why Japan continues to chew this dead bone!

8 ( +17 / -9 )

More the time passes more this country is showing that it is a retrograde country that refuses to become civilized. For decades a corrupted class has ruled this country providing poor education to the population and had made sure that people are uninformed and insensitive to the world around them. The perfect place for sheer stupidity to prevail.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

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