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Japan to start hunting large fin whales

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If Fin whales are not endangered then no problem. One country or culture does not have the right to enforce their beliefs of dietary rules on another.

8 ( +34 / -26 )

One country or culture does not have the right to enforce their beliefs of dietary rules on another.

Nobody needs to, Japan has already decided that it doesn’t like eating whales.

Better build lots more long term freezer storage

10 ( +25 / -15 )

Whale meat is an integral part of Japanese culture and diet. And in these dangerous and uncertain times, and very poor food security for Japan, sustainable commercial whaling is a means for the Japanese government to guarantee food on the table for the 120 million plus Japanese.

Another good decision by the Kishida cabinet. All nations consume meat that others consider taboo.

-28 ( +14 / -42 )

A purely political outdated move that in the end affects the whales only.

Nobody wants to eat that skanky meat anyway. All to keep a few old boys in their amakudari positions.

5 ( +27 / -22 )

Let's put asside the "cultural" side of this issue.

Still the dietary side is enough justification to hunting whales (not over hunting and protecting the whale population ofcourse). Just may be if Australia and New Zeland sold us enough of their meat cheaper to meet the dietary need of Japan, may be then hunting whales may not be necesary.

But that is not the reality, and weaker yen make imported meat expensive.

0 ( +15 / -15 )

Iceland hunted for the Fin Whale for export to Japan but stopped. Maybe it began again. Even if they manage to kill one, only the belly and the tail is consumed. The rest is thrown back into the ocean.

Usually found in deep waters.

"About 8,000 fin whales live offshore in deeper waters, and their population is smaller than those of other large whales, making them unusual to spot on the West Coast. Sightings of fin whales are rarer than those of gray whales and humpbacks".

16 ( +21 / -5 )

Nobody wants to eat that skanky meat anyway.

How do you know is "skanky"???... It is not by the way. I ate whale and hope to eat more if possible. The las time i ate it was a couple of years ago though.... my wife, my sister and kids also ate it since it was in the menu of the izakaya, in Makuhari... so there were a lots of nobodies eating whale there.

-18 ( +6 / -24 )

Sounds like Tokyo is declaring a unilateral special harpooning operation against Fin whales.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

How to tick off people. Japanese have a natural trait doing it.

-14 ( +22 / -36 )

There is completely zero cultural or historical about fishing large whales in midocean with a refrigerated mother ship acting as a floating slaughterhouse and slightly smaller ships using sonar to track them, scare and herd them using pings, grenade tipped harpoons to incapacitate and electric jumper cables to finish them off after they've been hauled aboard. And there is definitely nothing 'historical' about plundering the Southern Ocean for them unless one refers to the last few decades.

Moreover, whale consumption in this country using these techniques was a post WWII affair orchestrated by the American occupiers to make up for a temporary shortage of protein. It bears nothing in common with the extremely limited, small scale coastal seasonal whaling off very small migratory species that happened in sail boats, again which was hardly widespread in the country historically. Lastly, no one eats it anymore despite the government subsidizing it for decades. Some gets turned into pet food - how "cultural".

4 ( +25 / -21 )

Fighto!Today  04:50 pm JST

Whale meat is an integral part of Japanese culture and diet. And in these dangerous and uncertain times, and very poor food security for Japan, sustainable commercial whaling is a means for the Japanese government to guarantee food on the table for the 120 million plus Japanese.

Another good decision by the Kishida cabinet. All nations consume meat that others consider taboo.

No, that's not accurate, and if you know any Japanese, they will tell you so.

In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who has ever eaten it, let alone regularly eat it at any time in their lives.

It has only been a long tradition in a few areas of Japan (e.g., Wakayama) and was only consumed in Tokyo during and for a short time after the war due to food shortages. Few people ever liked it then, and now, it's pretty nasty tasting—strong, gamy, oily.

7 ( +22 / -15 )

Usually, those restaurants and izakaya in Tokyo and places where there is a high posibility to have foreigner clients, won't serve whale meat. And Japanese that live in those places (Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya) or inland cities (Kyoto, Nagano) of course will not have people consuming whale meat since there is no availability.

So to those who say, that Japanese people don't cosume whale meat is based on a limited to a certain area and/or income Japanese population.

Rich people will not eat whale, mainly because they live in an environment where whale meat is non existent. And most foreigners live in a similar environment as rich people, either because tha have way better income or because they live in an area that tends to have a high concentration of foreigners.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Daniel NeagariToday  05:40 pm JST

Usually, those restaurants and izakaya in Tokyo and places where there is a high posibility to have foreigner clients, won't serve whale meat. And Japanese that live in those places (Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya) or inland cities (Kyoto, Nagano) of course will not have people consuming whale meat since there is no availability.

So to those who say, that Japanese people don't cosume whale meat is based on a limited to a certain area and/or income Japanese population.

Rich people will not eat whale, mainly because they live in an environment where whale meat is non existent. And most foreigners live in a similar environment as rich people, either because tha have way better income or because they live in an area that tends to have a high concentration of foreigners.

Whale meat is readily available throughout Japan. Next time you're at your local supermarket, go have a look. It's pretty cheap meat, and it comes fresh and in cans, etc.

There's also a Whale meat restaurant in Shibuya called Ganso Kujiraya.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Fin Whales are not endangered. They are already hunted by Iceland.

While Icelamd has had one and off periods of commercial whaling, they resumed in August 2023.

https://www.oceancare.org/en/stories_and_news/iceland-resumes-whale-hunt/

2 ( +20 / -18 )

Disgusting.

-10 ( +19 / -29 )

For those who falsely claim that lots of Japanese eat whale.

'Whale represents only 0.1 percent of Japan's meat consumption.' From Reuters.

For those who claim that eating whale is a nationwide, cultural tradition. Not true. There were a few rural, coastal communities that had the historical tradition but it only became popular after WWII when other meat was unavailable or too expensive.

But go ahead and enjoy whale and dolphin meat which often contains high levels of mercury. Especially dolphin, It's criminal that in some areas, children are encouraged to eat dolphin meat when it has consistently been shown to contain some of the highest levels of mercury among sea animals.

And we're not talking about Iceland. We're talking about Japan. It means diddly squat if just two other countries among hundreds continue to hunt and eat whale. Norway, Iceland, and Japan.

5 ( +16 / -11 )

"Conservation status

Globally the species is considered Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened species because the remaining population is considered to be such a small fraction of what it was before modern whaling."

https://iwc.int/about-whales/whale-species/fin-whale#:~:text=Conservation%20status,-Heavily%20hunted%20during&text=Globally%20the%20species%20is%20considered,it%20was%20before%20modern%20whaling.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Japan is headed as the same league as a pariah ,nation for it tone deaf policies

-20 ( +8 / -28 )

For a resource poor island nation like Japan, whale could be an important source of food in the event of global crop failures or trade disruption caused by geopolitical upheavals. If Australians continue to criticize Japan for whaling, just retaliate by boycotting their beef.

-15 ( +4 / -19 )

'Whale represents only 0.1 percent of Japan's meat consumption.' From Reuters.

of course is so low, becasue there was no offer of whale meat... specially if Japan was following the guidelines of IWH, of course there will be no catch, that result in no offer that result in no comsuption... that one argument is mute

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

MeiyouwentiToday  06:06 pm JST

For a resource poor island nation like Japan, whale could be an important source of food in the event of global crop failures or trade disruption caused by geopolitical upheavals. If Australians continue to criticize Japan for whaling, just retaliate by boycotting their beef.

There is, as of this writing, no 'global crop failure' or 'trade dispute' so why the need for whale meat?

There are also thousands of tonnes of whale meat stored in refrigerators already.

The vast majority of Japanese people want beef. A tiny monitory eats whale meat and only nostalgic elderly people.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

There are vending machines selling whale meat.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Another excellent use of tax yennies to subsidize the whaling industry. Thanks govt. I'm sure many people appreciate this gesture.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Shadows of the Rising SunToday  05:21 pm JST

It has only been a long tradition in a few areas of Japan (e.g., Wakayama) and was only consumed in Tokyo during and for a short time after the war due to food shortages. Few people ever liked it then, and now, it's pretty nasty tasting—strong, gamy, oily.

Sieboldt wrote of whaling out of Nagasaki in the 1800s.

Boar meat was called "Yama Kujira" (mountain whale) as eating red meat was not common until the 1800s.

Fun reading:

https://featured.japan-forward.com/whalingtoday/2020/09/07/history-of-japanese-whaling-1/

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Japan has already decided that it doesn’t like eating whales.

The above comment is ridiculous

Did you even read the headline or the article at all ?

Your not the voice for all Japanese in japan haha !

I eat minke occasionally and lots of Japanese do

Whale is even available in vending machines

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

This is a taxpayer funded ship. It cost tens of millions of USD.

Remember that the next time you go to your kid's school and it looks like a rundown prison.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Might as whale

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

There's a budget that has to be spent. It's really as simple as that. It's like around here every year at this time they come and cut off the azalea flowers in full bloom simply because there is a budget for the "gardeners" and it is the time of year to carry out the contract for cutting the grass and hedges. Nobody questions the absurdity. I am sure, if it were pointed out, they would come up with some banal "cultural" excuse for it, especially to a foreigner.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Daniel NeagariToday  06:07 pm JST

'Whale represents only 0.1 percent of Japan's meat consumption.' From Reuters.

of course is so low, becasue there was no offer of whale meat... specially if Japan was following the guidelines of IWH, of course there will be no catch, that result in no offer that result in no comsuption... that one argument is mute

Really? But you and other proponents of eating whale and it's supposed long history in Japan, say it is readily available in supermarkets and restaurants. So according to you and them, it is readily available.

So if it's ready available as claimed, why aren't more people eating it? It makes more sense that people prefer beef, pork, chicken, and fish because whale and dolphin were never that popular to be begin with. Consider that a positive as much of it is contaminated with mercury and other toxins.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The Japanese government will continue to promote whaling......

Can we just acknowledge that the commercial whaling industry in Japan would have gone out of business LONG ago if it weren't for tax payer's yen to subsidize it. Considering how weak the yen is at the moment and the price of fuel to supply the whaling fleet on it's voyage, the total sales of this years catch wouldn't pay to move the fleet out of harbor!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Mr GoodmanToday  06:40 pm JST

Japan has already decided that it doesn’t like eating whales.

The above comment is ridiculous

Did you even read the headline or the article at all ?

Your not the voice for all Japanese in japan haha !

I eat minke occasionally and lots of Japanese do

Whale is even available in vending machines

Actually your comments are ridiculous.

'Whale represents only 0.1 percent of Japan's meat consumption.' From Reuters.

'People eat only about 40 grams a year per capita, about the size of a slice of ham.'

'Consumption is already so low, it’s not suddenly going to skyrocket.'

'In January, 2019, the stockpile of whale meat reached 3,700 tons'

'Still, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s government continues to support whaling, to the tune of nearly $50 million this year 2019.'

https://theworld.org/stories/2019/04/16/whaling-japan-2

The reason you sometimes see it at supermarkets, in vending machines, and in some unfortunate children's lunches is because there is huge frozen stockpile that they are desperate to get rid of. Yet nobody wants to eat it. Yet it costs taxpayers $50mil every year to support something that nobody eats.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

The whale is like a totem for life. That’s why people oppose whaling. Our cruelty to these majestic creatures, that know you are there, and probably even know you know, is probably the final message to the world that we are doomed. And if we cannot respect these unique creatures, then we probably won’t be saving anything. Then the outcome will be all of us dying on a bare rock. The whale is as far away from the bare rock symbolically as we can get. And so it really represents life. It is a totem for life.

So Japan’s continual refusal to give up whaling and even to want to expand it seems the height of barbarism, like someone wanting to destroy life. Japan represents the bare rock and death. Of course, the Japanese arguments are farcical. "It’s our culture” sounds like a silly excuse and also like something you shouldn’t even be proud of. It’s like saying "It’s our culture" to justify slavery.

-12 ( +6 / -18 )

MilesTegToday  07:24 pm JST

The reason you sometimes see it at supermarkets, in vending machines, and in some unfortunate children's lunches is because there is huge frozen stockpile that they are desperate to get rid of. Yet nobody wants to eat it. Yet it costs taxpayers $50mil every year to support something that nobody eats.

Every package of whale (always either Minke of Fin) I've seen in supermarkets and grocery stores were marked アイスランド産. You'd think they's put those freezers closer to home. lol

0 ( +5 / -5 )

MoonrakerToday  07:47 pm JST

The whale is like a totem for life. That’s why people oppose whaling. Our cruelty to these majestic creatures, that know you are there, and probably even know you know, is probably the final message to the world that we are doomed. And if we cannot respect these unique creatures, then we probably won’t be saving anything...

Seems like you're been brainwashed by the "Save the Whales" crowd which started in the late 70s and ran through the 80s when whale populations were in fact severly decimated by whaling. After 40-50 years stocks for certain species have rebounded.

The movement spurred an almost superstitous belief that Whales were somehow "special" and devoutly reinforced by cetacean researchers. Which of course also happened to ful their research funds.

Whales are intelligent, communicate and sentient. Many many animals we kill and eat without batting an eyelash are. Whales are nothing special in the chain of evolution, hippo-like mammals having evolved for a life entirely in water. To this date there exists no definitive evidence of such uniqueness that isn't tainted by human interpretation and emotionally defended. Star Trek IV was a work of fiction.

Honest cetacean research needs to be carried out free of such emotionally driven influence, and conducted in the same objective environment as all other animal research. Much of which is not very pretty.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

In the part of Japan I live in, most izakayas, suchiyas, and restaurants that specialize in seafood offer several kinds of whale cuisine on their menus and whale meat can always be found in supermarkets. Those of you claiming that the consumption of whale is limited to isolated areas of coastal Japan and only by older generations, you are absolutely wrong.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Boycott Japan

-16 ( +6 / -22 )

There is a new, very large whaling ship just launched by Japan, so they have to have something to do with it. Kiss off the whales. Isn't there something else that could be done with this ship and our Japanese taxes?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Fin Whales are in deep waters outside of the Japanese seas.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Very disappointing.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What I find odd is this: Norway is the leader in taking whales. Second is Iceland. Third is Japan. I've never come across any news site ever that mentions this. Let Japan take whales and there is something bad going on. Let blonde blue-eyed people take them and it's quite all right. Okay, let Japan catch the flak but at least mention that Norway and Iceland ought to stop it, too.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Japan's New Whaling Ship Raises Concerns for Conservationists

https://maritime-executive.com/article/japan-s-new-whaling-ship-raises-concerns-for-conservationists#:~:text=Japanese%20whaling%20industry%20has%20gained,based%20seafood%20company%20Kyodo%20Senpaku.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"Whales are important food resources and should be sustainably utilized, based on scientific evidence," 

But! Japan does not hunt them with any concern for sustainability. They kill as many as they can in a short period of time just to get the dollars for them. They do not target old or sick whales. They just kill as many as they can from a pod be they young or old, male or female. They can glorify this quoting science all they like but the reality is just a cash grab and abuse of the resource.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Honest cetacean research needs to be carried out free of such emotionally driven influence, and conducted in the same objective environment as all other animal research. Much of which is not very pretty.

Whataboutery at its finest.

Reason will never lead to values. My values are based on love and compassion for sentient beings. Science is not; it asks us to put aside feelings, including feelings of love, empathy, compassion and beauty, and since science and scientism have had an outsized effect on our world, it is not surprising these are all declining. Think what it does to you inside to kill a great creature and think what you have to suppress to do it.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I can't take Australia or New Zealand seriously when they complain about Japans fishing industry when they openly advertise culling sharks is ok. The hypocrisy is not lost at all.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Justin F. KayceToday  08:41 am JST

I can't take Australia or New Zealand seriously when they complain about Japans fishing industry when they openly advertise culling sharks is ok. The hypocrisy is not lost at all.

In the age of the internet and AI chatbots facts are easy to find:

It is illegal to harm or kill sharks in New Zealand waters deliberately. It is illegal to trade in any white shark products in New Zealand. Any white shark accidentally caught online or in a net (commercial or otherwise) must be released unharmed. There is no shark culling in NZ.

Yes, Australia does have some shark culling programs in certain areas nto reduce the risk of shark attacks on swimmers and surfers in popular beach areas. However, these programs are highly debated and controversial due to concerns about their effectiveness and the impact on shark populations and marine ecosystems. Additionally, non-lethal strategies are employed in Australia, such as shark tagging and monitoring programs, public education campaigns, and the development of shark deterrent technologies.

What aboutism is a rhetorical tactic where instead of directly addressing criticism, one deflects by pointing out similar behavior or faults in others. In this case, the behaviour is inaccurate and not even similar (i.e. shark culling is done to reduce deaths from shark attacks in certain areas, while whale hunting has no real purpose except to keep a few people in jobs and an act of political deviance).

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

> Gene HennighToday  06:19 am JST

What I find odd is this: Norway is the leader in taking whales. Second is Iceland. Third is Japan. I've never come across any news site ever that mentions this. Let Japan take whales and there is something bad going on. Let blonde blue-eyed people take them and it's quite all right. Okay, let Japan catch the flak but at least mention that Norway and Iceland ought to stop it, too.

Norway and Iceland have been criticized regularly for their whaling programs. Both countries have faced international opposition and diplomatic pressure from other nations, as well as from environmental and animal welfare organizations.

Norway has continued to hunt minke whales despite the international moratorium on commercial whaling, citing a loophole that allows for limited hunting for "cultural" or "scientific" purposes. Iceland has also hunted fin whales and minke whales, and has been criticized for its actions.

The criticism has come from various sources, including:

The International Whaling Commission (IWC)

The European Union

The United States

Australia

New Zealand

Environmental organizations such as Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

Animal welfare organizations such as the Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC)

The criticism has taken various forms, including:

Diplomatic protests and statements

Economic sanctions and trade restrictions

Public awareness campaigns and protests

Legal challenges and lawsuits

It's important to note that not all Norwegians and Icelanders support whaling, and there are also domestic debates and controversies surrounding the issue.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The history of whaling in Japan is thought to have already begun in prehistoric times. This is because what appears to be cetacean bones have been found in ruins from the early and early Jomon periods.

It has since been confirmed that whaling using hand harpoons began in the 12th century.

Why did the number of whales decrease in the first place?

Is it because the Japanese hunted too many whales in the world's oceans?

In fact, between 1900 and 1999, when whaling for whale oil became active in Europe and the United States, at least 2.9 million whales were killed by the whaling industry in the United States and Europe.

This includes 276,442 in the North Atlantic, 563,696 in the North Pacific, and 2,053,956 in the Southern Hemisphere.

https://www.nature.com/articles/519140a

Whaling has been active since the 1800s, and one of the reasons America's Perry urged Japan to open a port was to provide fuelwood and fresh water for whalers.

Whales have been considered a valuable source of nutrition and food for the Japanese people since ancient times. However, the whites saw it as nothing more than oil, and did nothing to control the amount of fish caught.

As a result, populations such as blue whales have declined by 90%.

Japanese people are grateful to whales and have built shrines and other structures to show their gratitude to whales.

Before complaining about Japanese food culture, white people should start preserving whale species on their own.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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