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Japan's whaling plans come under scrutiny at IWC meeting

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Research??? The only research made is how to store more unwanted meat, how to kill more whales to counter the size of their d.... and how to waste the most amount of public money. Disgrace!

19 ( +24 / -5 )

If for no other reason Japan needs friends and allies in the pacific region, this is clearly not helping that endeavour.

Besides which are there not many other massive issues facing Japan for which the time, effort and money put into this could far better be used?

8 ( +14 / -6 )

NZ proposal is fair - if you wanna get a permit for " scientific" hunt , show the scientific necessity for it. Of course , there is no such necessity for " lethal research " so Japan will continue to defy the will of most of the international community. And for what?.....so that a few hard headed amakudari oyajis running this unviable, obsolete farce of an industry can keep getting their taxpayer funded kickback every year. Govt should use that money to re train and support the fishing communities involved and build up a viable whale watching industry instead , which is what other whaling nations of old , such as Australia , did.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

New Zealand’s draft resolution, supported by European nations, Australia and the United States, among others, recalls the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) finding that any state seeking to kill whales for research must show why non-lethal methods were not an option.

Seems totally reasonable.

Japanese representative Hideki Moronuki, however, told AFP: “New Zealand’s understanding of the ICJ judgement differs from Japan’s… Japan cannot accept the resolution as it now stands.”

No surprise there.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Japan just wants to "research" whaling with no clear scientific purpose, waste Japanese money, dishonor the entire country, strain relations with allies, all to save face. Stop the whaling whining and join the 21st century. While you are at it Japan, stop killing dolphins. Please.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

NZ proposal is fair

NZ proposal is that of a tyrannical Westerner trying to push their values onto other people. It is the people who want to ban whaling that must show necessity of restricting the activity, not the reverse.

Tyranny of the majority strikes again.

-21 ( +5 / -26 )

Stop the whaling whining and join the 21st century.

The countries of 21st century would respect "Sovereignty"

-23 ( +3 / -26 )

tinawatanabe - The countries of 21st century would respect "Sovereignty"

Really? So where does that leave Japan? They persist in traveling to the other end of the planet and hunting whales in a whale sanctuary. Where is the 'sovereignty' in that? Please, do tell! I guess Japan is not one of these 21st century countries you are referring to.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Unfortunately, it's not just "saving face" that motivates the LDP to do whatever they can for whalers. The whaling program is a symbol of the LDP's pork barrel politics. By persisting against the international opinion, the LDP seeks to consolidate its power with the many powerful regional interests that comprise Japan, saying to them in effect, "Vote LDP because the LDP will see you through the toughest of times." It's a loyalty issue for them. Local and regional interest must prevail over Japan's international obligations.

But please keep in mind: the LDP is not (all of) Japan. Far from it!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Japan is using the research provision as a means of protecting and maintaining its whaling industry. It's not research whaling. It's really commercial whaling that's going on under a loophole in the commission's charter. As I posted the other day, I question the scientific validity of Japan's research whaling.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Hey CrazyJoe.......Just getting here now..?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Kazuaki-Shimazaki... Sorry science isn't western or eastern or the tyrannical property of anyone. It is a process that transcends culture..

If you want to argue for commercial whaling then do so, but whaling under the pretense of science when it had no scientific value is not only dishonest but against the spirit of the iwc which japan joined itself.

Tradition and culture is all fine and good.. But it is not a good excuse to continue things which are shown to be against the best interests of society at large.

Tradition is no excuse or reason, things must be evaluated on their relative merits in the context of reality as it exists here and now.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

"The New Zealand proposal would make it very difficult for Japan to come up with a scientific program"

No more bogus research as an excuse to kill whales and sell their meat. If it was upto Japan, they would kill all the whales, drive them to a cove and slash them to the death. Just like what's just happening in Taiji today. We're glad that it's not up to you.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

New Zealand is attempting to destroy the IWC. Japan should leave the IWC.

-17 ( +5 / -22 )

Can somebody please explain to me why the dinosaurs who insist on perpetuating this obscene ritual consider spending millions of taxpayers' yen sending ships to the far side of the earth, to annoy people all over the globe, to harvest whalemeat which nobody wants to eat and has to be stored at massive expense in freezers until it's given away to force-feed schoolkids with, never once making a single yen of profit, is "commercial"?

Because I looked up the word "commercial" in a dictionary,and that's not what it means. It means "making or intended to make a profit", which is the opposite of what whaling is.

But you can't apply logic to a Japanese gerontocracy.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

such a colossal waste of time and energy since the IWC has no legal power to stop any country from whaling. and japan will just buy their support from member countries like they did in 2012, so the NZ resolution has no chance of passing. this is just kabuki theater played on a grand scale, and japan has mastered the art of it.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I wish the Emperor would weigh in on this scientific/cultural/economic issue that has been nagging his nation for quite a long time now. He is by training a marine biologist and therefore somewhat qualified to express an educated opinion regarding the scientific validity of his nation's maritime 'research' endeavour. And as he also embodies the spiritual essence of the Japanese nation, he is the ultimate voice for expressing the cultural values of his subjects regarding this 'ancient seafaring tradition'. Does the Emperor feel that high powered cannons with explosive tipped projectiles fired from sonar equipped floating factories in the southern hemisphere mirror the ancient seafaring tradition that so many Japanese whaling apologists feel is in danger from the IWC? Does the Emperor feel that transplanting harvested whale embryos into mice is relevant scientific experimentation? If the Emperor were to give his voice, either in approval or disapproval, to the value of the Japanese whaling enterprise to his nation, then the people and the politicians (and the industry magnates) would know how his country truly feels about this provocative subject and which direction Japan should ultimately take. There are some duties that only a monarch can fulfill and this is one of them. I am at a loss as to why he has not taken a stance in this controversy. What is he waiting for? This is not a constitutional limitation of imperial powers issue. His people need him to speak out on this.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The culture argument is pathetic. It's all about tax payers supporting a dubious industry and paying a series of grey companies staffed by ex beauracrats. It's a scam that is hiding under the cover of culture. Japan is paying land locked countries for their vote and ignoring sovrenty and the wishes of countries that consider themselves the guardians of a pristine ocean. Great job Japan.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Disillusioned, It seems that a whale sanctuary is not legitmate based on Int'l law. Japan is not hunting endangered species. I trust J government more in legitmacy and objectivity than you people who have strange special attachement to whales.

-19 ( +2 / -21 )

yeah... by attempting to uphold the guidelines of the scientific research aspect... how terrible to have to play by the rules...

I personally do not wish whales to be caught or eaten, however Im aware and honest about the fact that is partially emotional and cultural based opinion. I am open to some discussion and movement on the position that limited whaling should not be allowed based on evidence and sound scientific research.

However, if Japan wishes to conduct some level of whaling and move towards the end of the moratorium or some allowance of limited catches then the scientific research they should be doing should surely consist of detailed and independently verified year on year numbers of certain species of whale and establish clear levels, again independently verified (this is how science works.. its not opinion) of sustainable whaling, or preferably a level that would allow the population to increase.

I would prefer if this ever when ahead that Japan, would then keep this apparently important "tradition", lets be honest it doesn't constitute any major or crucial part of the Japanese diet from a nutritional and food supply point of view in a typical Japanese diet, that they kept it to "traditional" Japanese fishing areas.

Again, its clear to anyone that cares about law and goodwill that the previous "scientific research" has very little to do with science whatsoever.

Completely aside from this issue Japan needs friends and allies, this kind of blatant and bullheaded if not dishonest at least questionable behaviour could have far more serious far reaching effects than if someone can have some overpriced potentially poisonous meat once in a while.

Be careful not to allow nationalism to stop you from really honestly analysing the merits of a particular topic.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@Cricky

It's all about tax payers supporting a dubious industry and paying a series of grey companies staffed by ex beauracrats. It's a scam that is hiding under the cover of culture.

... by the greying oyajis who are out for all they can get. Much like every other amakudari-involved industry in Japan. I swear the ageing population is taking the country down with it...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

My comment was edited by the Moderators? My point was that cultural norms be they stoning or genital mutilation are also cultural norms, does that mean we should respect these too?

Moderator: Your analogy is not even remotely relevant.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Cricky, precisely, tradition and culture is a terrible excuse for something if it has any negative impact.. Respect is earned and not simply given.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan needs friends and allies, this kind of blatant and bullheaded if not dishonest at least questionable behaviour could have far more serious far reaching effects

NZ 2011 This is another threat. Japan is seriously doing scientific research, but you people don't believe and threaten Japan all the time. What you should be doing is not threaten, but try to communicate with Japan, but you wouldn't. That's the problem of your people toward Japan.

-17 ( +1 / -18 )

Tina - According to the International Court in the Hague, Japan is not conducting scientific research, seriously or otherwise, and was subsequently ordered to stop. The IC is not affiliated with the IWC. Japan is a voluntary member of the IWC and can withdraw at its leisure. Japan is treaty bound to adhere to rulings handed down by the IC. As a former university instructor in biology, I would offer you my educated opinion that Japan's research is similar to that conducted by Frankenstein. Please show me some academic journal citations that demonstrate the scientific value of lethal whale harvesting. Japan was unable to present any to the IC because there is no value, except commercial.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Shame on NZ. The estimated stock of Minke whales is abundant and they are rated "Least concern" in terms of conservation status. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minke_whale

There is no such thing called "ban" of commercial whaling, but is merely "moratorium" of whaling which was to be lifted by 1990 at the latest. There is no reason whatsoever to continue the moratorium of commercial whaling in terms of animal conservation. The argument of NZ is purely based on strange "love" of whales.

To lift the moratorium, Japan needs to show abundance of whales, which is only possible through research whaling.

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

What on earth are you talking about?

No country operates in a vacuum, we are all part of an international community which must work together if we are going to have any kind of peace and prosperity.

Countries are, if they choose, able to try and work in isolation, but that generally doesn't work out so well for the economy or the welfare of the people..

The idea that I am, or anyone else for that matter against "Japan" in anyway is precisely the misguided nationalistic thinking I tried to describe before, Japan is my home and I am contributing member of Japanese society, and I want nothing more than its prosperity and to have a stable future.

I am talking about a specific undeniably controversial issue. Don't confuse the two.

Your claim that Japan is doing valid scientific research is not inline with the decision of the IWC, nor any other scientist in the field other than members of the ICR... which of course is established entirely to justify the cause of Japanese whaling under the guise of scientific research.

Scientific research by its very nature is open to questions of validity, process, need and purpose, if not, it is not science.

I pointed out before while I can openly say, yes, some of my feelings are emotionally and culturally based, however I am open to further discussion on this issue.

How about you take your own advice and try out aside your assumptions and cultural bias to communicate with others about what the issues really are with this.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

New Zealand is attempting to destroy the IWC. Japan should leave the IWC.

Ossan -- nonsense. Whether you want to accept it or not, the horse left the barn on this a long time ago. New Zealand is not "attempting to destroy the IWC". Along with several other countries -- including I'm proud to say, the U.S. -- they simply want to make sure Japan actually conducts valid research. Whales in the Southern Pacific are a shared resourse, and if Japan wants to slaughter them it needs to make a convincing argument as to why. Japan has no more right to kill them than NZ and other countries have to protect them.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Tyranny of the majority strikes again. well thats the foundation of basic democracy, and its only tyranny if your in the minority.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

tinawatanabe wrote; "... Japan is not hunting endangered species. I trust J government more in legitmacy and objectivity than you people who have strange special attachement to whales."

'Attachment' That is an interesting term dismissing mammalian sentience.

How is 'attachment' remotely adequate to describe our respect for human integration with life on earth?

We can only hope you and others with these unevolved values grow through this stage of human development.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Japan is seriously doing scientific research, but you people don't believe

Japan had the chance at the ICJ to demonstrate that what it was doing in the Southern Ocean was for the purposes of scientific research, and it abysmally failed to make its case. Japan is not seriously doing research, it is trying to use smoke and mirrors to mask a blatent fraud. Not unlike the Kyoto temples and shrines some years ago who tried to get around the tourism tax by having tourists trace over a sutra and claiming it was a religious experience.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

NZ 2011 This is another threat. Japan is seriously doing scientific research, but you people don't believe and threaten Japan all the time.

Well this makes no sense. If Japan is simply doing serious scientific research (a laughable assertion given the near complete lack of actual peer-reviewed scientific papers published based on that alleged research, but anyway) then a simple requirement that it actually provide scientific justification for its methods should pose no problem at all.

The fact that such a simple requirement triggers such a backlash by the Japanese government is telling proof of the obvious fact that they cannot offer such justification because the program they want is not one that will produce scientific results (easily obtained through non-lethal methods) but one in which they can carry on a thinly disguised commercial whaling program.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

tinawatanabe - I trust J government more in legitmacy and objectivity than you people who have strange special attachement to whales.

Bwahahaha! You should have taken the blue pill! Are you happy that your government wastes millions of your taxes on a ridiculous whale hunt to fill freezers with a meat that has no market for resale? Are you happy they use Tohoku rebuilding funds to fund this ridiculous whale hunt? Furthermore, the whale sanctuary is recognized by over 30 countries. it is only Japan that refuses to recognize it, thus making your argument moot!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What? So I should never mention Moderators and not comment when my posts are edited? It was not abusive. Have a great day JP Team.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As shown in the Wikipedia link above, the IWC is advised by its own scientists that there are an estimated 515,000 minke whales. So why doesn't the IWC just set a catch quota for these 515,000 minke whales and offer it to Japan?

It's just bizarre to me that there is this whaling outfit called the IWC which doesn't want to allow any of Japan's whaling, when there are 515,000 whales. If 515,000 isn't enough then how many are? How many of the whales that Greenland catches are there?

The IWC ought to operate according to some clear rules, but it seems completely arbitrary and discretionary.

If I were a Japanese policy maker I'd be giving ultimatums. Either the IWC allows the Japanese some catch quotas, or else Japan leaves the IWC and unilaterally grants quotas on a strictly temporary basis, until the IWC sorts itself out.

Who is actually benefiting from this useless IWC body that could justify all the tax payer money that is just wasted there?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

tinawatanabe wrote; "Japan is seriously doing scientific research, but you people don't believe and threaten Japan all the time." Threaten what?

Do you mean; changing culturally redundant ideology out of sync with current biological scientific methodology?

Then yes, Japan's old world ideology is under threat. However this runs deeper.

What culture would admit to scientifically redundant methods of 'research' without a vested interest and a very subjective agenda? That is an agenda carried as geo-political subtext far greater than made apparent.

Just how naive is anyone who accepts this 'scientific research' is not just a smokescreen of credibility?

The political centre of gravity in Japan, that is the Disney Generation and older might be ignorant of 21st Century scientific methods.

However the highly educated and intelligent generations following just could not be so wilfully blind.

So have no excuse for not standing up to what is nothing more than posturing with righteous indignation by those with reactionist ideology.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Paul,

I do believe I read somewhere that the ICJ accepted that some types of research could only be done using lethal methods. So I think it's rather presumptuous to suggest that anyone who thinks there might be something to Japan's research aims must be naive.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

senseimanSep. 17, 2014 - 12:20PM JST

If Japan is simply doing serious scientific research

Read ICJ ruling here. http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?p1=3&p2=3&k=64&case=148&code=aj&p3=4

ICJ recognized that the Japanese research whaling is scientific research.

However, ICJ twisted the logic and said that scientific research and activities for the purpose of scientific research are different. Japan did demonstrate that their research whaling is scientific research but did not show, according to ICJ, their research whaling is for the purpose of scientific research. This interpretation of rules took Japan by surprise for it made all of its efforts to show their research whaling is scientific research. If the court had explained to Japan that ICJ is of the opinion that scientific research and activities for the purpose of scientific research are different, Japan could have demonstrated that their research whaling is for the purpose of scientific research.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

fxgai - The ICJ accepted that lethal harvesting was probably necessary to determine if populations were viable enough to sustain renewed commercial whaling. So basically, the ICJ said that killing whales was probably necessary to determine if killing whales on a commercial level was sustainable. In other words, you need to kill something in order to understand how many of them you can get away with killing. The ICJ did not acknowledge any other reasons, not did Japan propose any other reasons, for lethal harvesting in the name of research. It is a commercial operation plain and simple. The other pseudoscience that Japanese biologists have published, almost exclusively in kanji character academic journals created specifically for this purpose by the Japanese whaling industry, have been dismissed by most nearly all mainstream zoologists as bordering on something from the Island of Dr Moreau.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The contradiction of the ICJ ruling is excellently put by Judge Yusuf in his dissenting opinion, as well as those of other dissenting judges. http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/148/18148.pdf

DISSENTING OPINION OF JUDGE YUSUF

5 Secondly, I think that the reasoning of the majority is seriously flawed in characterizing, on the one hand, JARPA II activities as "scientific research", while concluding, on the other, that the special permits granted by Japan for JARPA II are not "for purposes of scientific research". JARPA II is not implemented for commercial purposes and the Judgment recognizes as much. If it was not designed for purposes of scientific research, it could not have simply stumbled into scientific research activities, unless it is accepted that serendipity was at work here. In any case, it appears to me paradoxical that a programme that is broadly characterized as scientific research is considered by the majority not to be "for purposes of scientific research", particularly without its qualification as commercial whaling under Article VIII, paragraph 4, of the ICRW and without a definition of the words "scientific research".

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Just send a warship, and the problem is solved.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

fxgai wrote; "it's rather presumptuous to suggest that anyone who thinks there might be something to Japan's research aims must be naive.

Interesting comment. Either my reply was written poorly or comprehension wanting for the comment: "What culture would admit to scientifically redundant methods of 'research' without a vested interest and a very subjective agenda?"

The long term establishment of scientific whaling is just 'commercial whaling' in the Southern Ocean with a geo-political subtext. The long game is making claim on the resources in Antarctica after establishing a history of resource use [whaling] culturally.

With estimates of over 200 billion barrels of oil under the ice, this puts the subtext as an attempt at establishing a territorial claim for a future time. Why else stockpile tonnes of whale meat for a diminishing need year in year out? Surely not for some long term trend in consumption just around the corner.

Just how naive anyone is about geo-political posturing after the ongoing grab for oil in the Middle East since Jimmy Carter is always surprising.

Japan was one of the original signatories to the Antarctic Treaty System, they are no longer, why? ^

^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctic_Treaty_System

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Paul Richards Are you saying other animals we eat don't have mammalian sentience? Any proof ? You have strange illogical attachement to whales. Threaten is I often hear from anti-whale group, even here too.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

ICJ twisted the logic and said that scientific research and activities for the purpose of scientific research are different

No, it is Japan that has been trying to twist the logic by claiming that if they allow a few scientists to weigh a few stomachfuls of krill, fertilise a few cow eggs with whale sperm and gouge out a few ear plugs, that justifies their killing as many whales as it takes to keep the deep-freezers full.

This interpretation of rules took Japan by surprise

Then whoever was in charge of making the Japanese case at the ICJ is an incompetent fool and a blithering idiot, since this is what people have been saying and objecting to all along.

Japan could have demonstrated that their research whaling is for the purpose of scientific research

Could have, should have, would have. But they didn't. Because it isn't.

Read ICJ ruling here. http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?p1=3&p2=3&k=64&case=148&code=aj&p3=4

Thank you for providing a link to the ICJ documents. On P30 of the judgement, it states clearly, even if a whaling programme involves scientific research, the killing, taking and treating of whales pursuant to such a programme does not fall within Article VIII unless these activities are "for purposes of" scientific research. And in the conclusion, on P64, The Court concludes that the special permits granted by Japan for the killing, taking and treating of whales in connection with JARPA II are not "for purposes of scientific research" pursuant to Article VIII, paragraph 1, of the Convention.

As for the dissenting opinion of Judge Yusuf, who it seems wasn't paying attention during the proceedings or is perhaps a rather trusting soul, he totally misses the point; If it was not designed for purposes of scientific research, it could not have simply stumbled into scientific research activities. Obviously JARPAII did not 'simply stumble into scientific research'; the programme was designed in order to provide a cover for killing whales and slapping them on plates. Article VIII says 'for purposes of scientific research' and so they tried to make it look like scientific research. Just like the Kyoto temples tried to make it look like a religious experience. But it wasn't.

The more Japan goes on about 'culture', 'tradition' and the reconstruction of the industries of the NE, the more it negates any idea that what it does in the Antarctic is in any way for the purpose of scientific research.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

ICJ recognized that the Japanese research whaling is scientific research.

Well, that is a bit of a stretch, given that the judgment doesn`t actually say anything of the sort.

It does however devote many pages to describing the lack of any evidence that the methods employed by the Japanese program are scientifically justified.

And of course the actual final decision of the court was that the whaling program did NOT qualify for the scientific research exception to the moratorium.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

well done NZ. Massive respect for this NZ government - easily our best leaders in 3 decades

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@NZ2011

Kazuaki-Shimazaki... Sorry science isn't western or eastern or the tyrannical property of anyone. It is a process that transcends culture.. If you want to argue for commercial whaling then do so, but whaling under the pretense of science when it had no scientific value is not only dishonest but against the spirit of the iwc which japan joined itself

Yes, I agree. And I think New Zealand is using "science" to push its "ick" about whaling onto other countries. Ick about whaling may be popular in the West, but that's all it is.

First, the fundament of this problem. Human freedom is an inherent good. That means the only justification to restrict it is the common good. And the common good had better be existent and of sufficient weight, rather than some article of faith.

Translated to the specific case of whaling, it means that the onus should be on those who want to ban it (henceforth, at risk of overgeneralization we call them "The West") to justify that it is detrimental to the common good. Since it is generally agreed that hunting the whales to extinction is a bad idea, the onus should be on the West to prove this, and continuously.

Yet the present case for some reason is turned on its head, and it is those who want to enjoy their freedom (Japan) that has to fight and be criticized. This is a gross abuse and negligence of modern western values that make the world a much finer place than it was one hundred years ago. The idea that freedoms should be sacrificed for unscientifically determined common goods or certain doctrines is one reason why the past was a worse place to live in.

In the same sense, New Zealand's proposal is arse backwards. We shall assume that there is one way of research that involves killing the whale and one that doesn't. They are of roughly equal efficacy and cost, and we shall assume the ecosystem is not being significantly endangered by the death of the whale. What is the better option?

Guess what, the West, as long as there is still significant demand of whales, the option that involves killing the whale is better. Economically, after the whale is "tested", it can be sold, recuperating at least part of the cost. Further, the whale can be eaten, which brings a certain amount of nutrition and joy to the eater, another good. That's TWO goods.

Yet the West, based on its narrow subjective values, denies the value of these two, hardly insignificant goods, and demands necessity as if whaling is an intrinsic bad (if that's so, then so is all consumption). Depending on how tightly you rule necessity, it is possible to ban any research or whaling on those grounds. Who cares if the non-destructive method is oh, ten times more expensive or ten times less accurate. It is still not necessary.

And that's why, as a matter of principle, I find New Zealand's proposal disgusting.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

shinhiyata,

I feel the minutia about research is subsidiary to the issue, which is that the IWC has no reason not to set catch quotas for minke whales as I noted above, but I have some observations on your comment.

The ICJ accepted that lethal harvesting was probably necessary to determine if populations were viable enough to sustain renewed commercial whaling.

That was one of the main goals of Japan's research, as I understood it, although I think it's pretty obvious now that whaling could be sustained given the huge numbers of minke whales. I feel the scandal is not that Japan was doing research to drive home the point that this is the case, but that the IWC (funded by tax payer monies from around the world) has failed to set a quota for such a plentiful species for years and years.

In other words, you need to kill something in order to understand how many of them you can get away with killing. The ICJ did not acknowledge any other reasons, not did Japan propose any other reasons, for lethal harvesting in the name of research. It is a commercial operation plain and simple.

The way I read your comment it seems you are saying that the research is itself commercial whaling, since it shows that commercial whaling is possible. It seems like the research has been declared illegal because it aims to show that the IWC has been failing to set a catch quota, when it could have been doing so.

How is Japan the "bad guy" here, and not IWC? Can no one give me a reason why the IWC is not setting minke whale catch quotas, or explain why Japan shouldn't temporarily quit so as not be bound by the rules of this organization which does not seem to be fulfilling it's mission?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

any state seeking to kill whales for research must show why non-lethal methods were not an option.

Because your (as in joint 2010 NZ and Australia) multi million dollar non lethal "research" FAILED to collect a SINGLE biopsy sample of the most abundant whale species in Minke whale.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

"Japanese representative Hideki Moronuki, however, told AFP: “New Zealand’s understanding of the ICJ judgement differs from Japan’s… Japan cannot accept the resolution as it now stands.” "

Classic Japanese answer when they can't have their way!

Tinawatanabe: so, you're claiming Japan has sovereignty over the Souhtern Ocean? We know you love your island claims, but that's just ridiculous!

Japan' ONLY 'science' on whaling is " soy-sauce or mayonnaise?"

0 ( +7 / -7 )

smithinjapan Sovereignty means independent, and not under the authority of any other country. As Kazuaki Shimazaki brilliantly explained above, Japan has the right to exercise its freedom without interferece from another country. If you want to challenge this, you have to have very convincing grounds. Not just whales are smart, etc kind of things.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Tina - You are the pot calling the kettle black. For a fascinating take on the Japanese religious attitude towards the whale, I suggest you watch the 1962 Daiei classic 'Kujiragami'. When it comes to the whale, Japanese have about the most fanatical religious affectation outside of the Inuit culture, however it is obviously not one of reverence.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

tina - it was challenged.

At the ICJ.

Convincing grounds were apparently presented, because the court ruled against Japan's whaling operations as they existed.

No ruling was decided on animal smartness, cuteness etc as you suggested.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The whole proposal by NZ is a PR stance and has no actual use. All that will happen is Japan will object to it, so even if it passes it won't apply to Japan. It will have no effect but will make the greens happy and will let the governments that vote for it get a little credibility with their green citizens.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

shinhiyata, Japan is not demanding any countries accept Japan's religion. I meant you people are demanding Japan accept white people's belief that whales are god or something.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

smithinjapan Sovereignty means independent, and not under the authority of any other country. As Kazuaki Shimazaki brilliantly explained above, Japan has the right to exercise its freedom without interferece from another country. If you want to challenge this, you have to have very convincing grounds. Not just whales are smart, etc kind of things.

This is just factually incorrect. Sovereignty means the ability of a state to act within its own borders without the interference of another state. Since the impugned activity in this case happens exclusively outside of Japan, I believe entirely in international waters, soveriegnty is a completely irrelevant concept from a legal point of view.

But, just to play along, please note that part of the concept of sovereignty is the right of a state to make commitments to other states in the form of treaty obligations. Japan has chosen to exercise its sovereignty in this manner by becoming a member of the IWC (a treaty based organization). Having done so - again, a sovereign action undertaken by the state of Japan - it has voluntarily accepted a commitment to abide by the terms of the treaty. Other members of that treaty are well within their rights to insist that Japan meets those commitments just as Japan is within its rights to insist they meet theirs. At no point does any of this action in any way involve a violation of the sovereignty of the other - the opposite is in fact the case.

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@senseiman

This is just factually incorrect. Sovereignty means the ability of a state to act within its own borders without the interference of another state. Since the impugned activity in this case happens exclusively outside of Japan, I believe entirely in international waters, soveriegnty is a completely irrelevant concept from a legal point of view.

Now, I'd like to point out that I did not use sovereignty or mention the concept in my passages. I'll also agree that you are correct as to the definition of sovereignty.

On the other hand, if we talk about international waters, we have to discuss yet another Western principle that New Zealand is stuffing under the table. In principle, all nations should have the right to freely use the high seas. UNCLOS clearly ratifies this principle in Article 87, section 1(e) and (f) (unless you want to insist "whaling" is not "fishing").

It is undeniable that New Zealand's motion to effectively restrict whaling is against such principles.

But, just to play along, please note that part of the concept of sovereignty is the right of a state to make commitments to other states in the form of treaty obligations. Japan has chosen to exercise its sovereignty in this manner by becoming a member of the IWC (a treaty based organization). Having done so - again, a sovereign action undertaken by the state of Japan - it has voluntarily accepted a commitment to abide by the terms of the treaty. Other members of that treaty are well within their rights to insist that Japan meets those commitments just as Japan is within its rights to insist they meet theirs. At no point does any of this action in any way involve a violation of the sovereignty of the other - the opposite is in fact the case.

And it is. And that's rather nice. You have to remember that the IWC's purpose is not to ban all whaling, as New Zealand and a substantial portion of the West seem to think (or want to twist its purpose to be), or even all whaling in a particular region. It is to conserve whales and manage whaling, which is not the same thing.

If anything, an fundamentalist position will be to argue that countries like New Zealand, who clearly has a near hatred regarding whalings should be kicked from the commission. Suppose you have a hunting club. Some members are clearly not at all interested in hunting and are only there to try and place restrictions on those that do. Should they be there at all?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

senseiman It's not that simple. You people criticize even if Japan bought whale meat from other countries. The core point is that you are demanding Japan accept your beliefs that whales are sacred. Japan cannot accept that. I thought it is OK if int'l waters.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

On the other hand, if we talk about international waters, we have to discuss yet another Western principle that New Zealand is stuffing under the table. In principle, all nations should have the right to freely use the high seas. UNCLOS clearly ratifies this principle in Article 87, section 1(e) and (f) (unless you want to insist "whaling" is not "fishing").

Which only means that New Zealand or any other country, in the absence of a treaty commitment to the contrary, cannot deprive Japan of its right to freely use the high seas. Japan, having become a member of the IWC has, as a part of that, voluntarily given up a right to unrestricted exercise of its right to the high seas (at least so far as whaling is concerned). In other words, the UNCLOS is irrelevant to the dispute, which solely relates to the rules of the IWC (which Japan could have entered reservations to if it had liked but did not).

If anything, an fundamentalist position will be to argue that countries like New Zealand, who clearly has a near hatred regarding whalings should be kicked from the commission. Suppose you have a hunting club. Some members are clearly not at all interested in hunting and are only there to try and place restrictions on those that do. Should they be there at all?

Of course they should.If the majority of the organization favor a policy - in this case a moratorium and rules which enforce it - and they follow the proper rules and procedures in implementing that policy - which they have - then there is clearly no basis for that. You are literally suggesting that countries should be kicked out - in contravention of the rules of the organization - solely based on their subjective views on a given policy.

senseiman It's not that simple. You people criticize even if Japan bought whale meat from other countries. The core point is that you are demanding Japan accept your beliefs that whales are sacred. Japan cannot accept that. I thought it is OK if int'l waters.

I havent said anything like that. I just said that you dont understand what sovereignty is.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Tinawatanabe: senseiman It's not that simple. You people criticize even if Japan bought whale meat from other countries. The core point is that you are demanding Japan accept your beliefs that whales are sacred. Japan cannot accept that. I thought it is OK if int'l waters."

So you think it's "Japan's sovereignty" but is "international waters"? Which is it Tina? You're obviously very confused, since sovereignty by definition does not mean independence but a nation's laws within its own borders. So, do you consider the Southern Ocean to be part of Japan?

I also notice when people point out how confused and mistaken you are that you fall back on the "YOU PEOPLE criticize Japan!" argument because you have been proven wrong. Japan is attacking itself, by lying about science, then saying it's an attack on their culture when proven they have lied, then by breaking promises, etc. Japan can claim "everyone but us is wrong if they disagree" and other sandbox logic all they want, but in the end they will of COURSE be criticized, and rightly so!, and be cast negatively in the eyes of the entire world. Make up new definitions for words all you like, Tina, you're not a victim here, but the cause of your own criticism.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Kazuaki: Japan has said it's about science. It's not. Admitting that they then saidtheywill abide by the ruling of the group they chose to join. They have reneged. To say it's an issue of sustainability makes the whole thing moot, since that would be against the ban anyway.

Glad you agree Japan should not be funneling reconstruction money (which is then misused again) for a product no one wants.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki I don't think your points follow from what is actually occurring, though, thanks for at least having a coherent reply.

I agree about freedoms and being careful to limit dogmatic belief what ever corner it comes from, however isn't the issue in this case that clearly in the past humans have had a serious and lasting effect on whale populations, hence the establishment of this whole mess (I agree its far from ideal) in the first place.. therefore I don't think its back to front to expect whichever parties which wish to restart the same activities which caused the issue before to prove through peer reviewed scientific research and independently verified review that it is indeed sustainable and won't negatively effect anyone else's rights or freedoms to enjoy oceans with an abundant amount of whales in them.

Perhaps some lethal research is necessary if research is be carried out.. but isn't the point before you go around causing suffering or destruction to anything, human or animal, you evaluate the need for that research in the first place.. if there isn't an obvious, clear and well defined need to take a targeted amount of whales for scientific research why would you? Unless of course your purpose is not to perform a scientific program but catch whales.

As I raise several times I understand that some of my personal objections are emotional and cultural but the fact remains, what is occurring has almost nothing to do with science so why continue under that pretence, if a party wants to put forward a case for commercial whaling then do that.

Lastly to your new post.. would it be an economically sustainable business if it wasn't being subsidised or being pushed by a certain type of politician who would much rather focus the countries attention on this issue than actually attend to the grave and serious problems that are facing Japan?

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smithinjapan Sovereignty isn't just about territory, also about right to freedom, to not being interefered in religions, beliefs, creeds, ideologies, opinions, spirits in our hearts and minds.

Harald If you lived in Japan, you can express any opinion and influence others. But also you have to respect Japanese sovereignty.

Anti-whaling people are making all kinds of excuses. Here comes a new one, Tohoku. Others are whales are smart and cute, that nobody eat, that mercury is high, against some judgements, waste of tax money, nationalistic, and on and on It is obvious by now that the true reason is that They are demanding Japan accept their beliefs that whales are sacred. And the Japan's answer is NO because it is against international law on sovereignty.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

To all readers: If you wish to post on this thread, please be tolerant of opposing views and do not bicker. If you cannot exchange views without sniping at each other, then please do not post here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@senseiman

Which only means that New Zealand or any other country, in the absence of a treaty commitment to the contrary, cannot deprive Japan of its right to freely use the high seas. Japan, having become a member of the IWC has, as a part of that, voluntarily given up a right to unrestricted exercise of its right to the high seas (at least so far as whaling is concerned). In other words, the UNCLOS is irrelevant to the dispute, which solely relates to the rules of the IWC (which Japan could have entered reservations to if it had liked but did not).

Japan might have signed up for "restriction level X" (back when Japan joined IWC, it was still a "Management" organization and there did seem a need to bring the whaling into some kind of check), and that's fine. Now, New Zealand wants to up the ante to "Restriction level Y" and push it through under tyranny of the majority. Even if Japan swallows it again, it is undeniable that New Zealand made a fresh and unjustified attack on freedom of the seas. If most of the world condones it, it just means they have themselves joined in the attack.

Of course they should.If the majority of the organization favor a policy - in this case a moratorium and rules which enforce it - and they follow the proper rules and procedures in implementing that policy - which they have - then there is clearly no basis for that. You are literally suggesting that countries should be kicked out - in contravention of the rules of the organization - solely based on their subjective views on a given policy.

I'm not sure about the precise rulebook of the IWC, but I speak from principle. IWC in effect started out as a hunting club / guild between hunters, enforcing certain limits so the deer are not wiped from the hill and everyone gets some deer meat.

Unfortunately over the years, some of the hunters go vegetarian. Now, instead of thinking about how to hunt deer in a sustainable way, they now join the meetings to try and push through motions to stop hunting deer. All according to the procedures perhaps (with perhaps some arm twisting in the back doors - so those that are against can't even leave the club without fear of GBH), but does this not in effect defeat the very purpose of the club?

@NZ2011 Thank you for your rational reply.

The problem with the "necessity" provision is that it is very flexible to "salmami slicing" tactics. Just changing the definition of what is "necessary", in the hands of a hostile audience "necessity" can equate "nothing".

To take an example, suppose it is decided you are eating too much and in an environmentally unfriendly way. Others will determine your "necessary" dietary needs. Unfortunately, that judgment is delegated to someone who hates your very existence and won't be held accountable for the consequences (such as your death). How many calories would you get? Zero. He'll start with cutting out "obvious" luxuries like sweets and caviar. Then he'd say you can get your dietary needs only from veggies (it takes many kg of fodder to make 1kg of meat). Already your life is starting to get miserable, but he can continue by knocking off your calorie count by recategorizing necessities as merely desirable (for example, your calorie intake can be cut drastically if we assume you can just lie on the floor 24h a day...). It moves on and on until the "necessity" of your existence is denied, thus dropping the calorie count (and your footprint on the environment) to 0.

That's more or less how I expect New Zealand and her kin to exercise the "necessity" clause, or at least try to, should they receive it. They have no interest in whaling except to please environmental groups in their country that want it banned.

past humans have had a serious and lasting effect on whale populations, hence the establishment of this whole mess (I agree its far from ideal) in the first place

I actually agree that humans have caused a crisis in whale populations, and I agree very much to restrictions in accordance to the founding purpose of the IWC. That's not the same as what are effectively blanket bans that are never lifted (moratoriums are defined as bans that are lifted after a certain time, but it never seems to lift).

As I understand it, the 1982 moratorium (which evolved into a de facto permanent ban) was mostly politically rather than scientifically motivated. And even if some proof of safety is required, it has already been de facto achieved. If you want to test whether the whale population can survive 1000 whales (that's the number bandied about regarding how many whales Japan takes for "scientific whaling" a year IIRC, at least before Sea Sheppard) being taken out of it a year, there are few better tests than to actually do so. So, 1000 whales/year have been taken out for decades now under the aegis of "scientific whaling". No one, not even the pro-ban crowd, seems able to honestly say they believe the whales, let alone the biosystem, are facing an existentialist crisis.

That, in itself should have destroyed the legitimacy of the moratorium, and ended the need for such experiments. Yet "the West" seems unwilling to admit this, thus requiring more "scientific" experiments when it has already been scientifically demonstrated the sustainable catch is >1000 whales / year. Since it is also said that a lot of research whale actually goes unused in Japan, profitable commercial whaling would be substantially less than 1000/year, thus making any likely commerical program completely sustainable.

So where's the rational objection? Commercial whaling is being delayed more due to the irrational objections of the West than scientific reasons.

Lastly to your new post.. would it be an economically sustainable business if it wasn't being subsidised or being pushed by a certain type of politician who would much rather focus the countries attention on this issue than actually attend to the grave and serious problems that are facing Japan?

That, IMO, is just another pragmatic reason why "the West" should drop its objection. Without its objection, that "certain type of politician" will find it much harder to play on culture or science or tradition to fund the whaling programs. Maybe commercial whaling will establish itself on a small scale. Maybe it'd extinguish itself naturally. And maybe it'd find some kind of revival (if the revival's explosive, we'd have to look again at regulation).

Heck maybe we should have a quid pro quo. Instead of a moratorium on whaling with "loopholes" for 'aboriginal whaling', 'scientific whaling' ... etc, we go back to allowing catches within a simple all-purpose limit (or perhaps limits based on geographic area). The moratorium will instead be on government aid to whaling programs, be they commercial, scientific or cultural.

To conduct research on whale populations, instead of the current national teams (mostly from countries with an interest in reviving the industry since the anti-team seems able to maintain their favored ban on "faith" alone), the IWC funds a scientific group with its own ships. The scientific and management crews and funding will consist of a 50-50 mix from pro and anti whaling nations (it is pretty clear which is which) which hopefully should reduce allegations of bias. Let's see if the West would be as enthusiastic in "fighting" whaling if they have to put up more than a few lawyers :-)

And we see what happens to the commercial whaling industry and make decisions based on what is the results.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan might have signed up for "restriction level X" (back when Japan joined IWC, it was still a "Management" organization and there did seem a need to bring the whaling into some kind of check), and that's fine. Now, New Zealand wants to up the ante to "Restriction level Y" and push it through under tyranny of the majority.

The fact that the majority want something different does not make it a "tyranny". Organizations change their focus, goals and even purpose all the time. This is why they all have procedures and rules which allow them to do so, providing voice for objections and debate. It is ridiculous to assert that any time one member tries to alter the rules in a manner totally consistent with the rules constitutes some sort of evil that should be condemned. Organizations need to evolve and change.

With all due respect this just sounds like petty complaining because Japan isn't getting its way. Japan is free to leave the IWC at any time it pleases, nobody is forcing it to stay.

I'm not sure about the precise rulebook of the IWC, but I speak from principle. IWC in effect started out as a hunting club / guild between hunters, enforcing certain limits so the deer are not wiped from the hill and everyone gets some deer meat.

Unfortunately over the years, some of the hunters go vegetarian. Now, instead of thinking about how to hunt deer in a sustainable way, they now join the meetings to try and push through motions to stop hunting deer. All according to the procedures perhaps (with perhaps some arm twisting in the back doors - so those that are against can't even leave the club without fear of GBH), but does this not in effect defeat the very purpose of the club?

You are, in substance, arguing that organizations should not evolve even if the majority of their members want them to do so. I see no valid reason to accept that as a principle. Organizations must be able to evolve in accord with changes in their environment and the views of their members, otherwise they will become irrelevant as organizations (which are simply humanly created entities meant to further our interests, not to stifle them). You are arguing that a small, conservative minority should be able to hijack the agenda of the organization in express contravention of the wishes of the majority. How on earth could anyone accept that in principle? If the majority of the members of a hunting club decide to become vegetarian and turn the club into a vegetarian club then why on earth should we wish to stop them from doing so? Because it used to be a club about hunting and the older members don't like it?

What you are advocating sounds more like a valid reason for Japan to leave the IWC and start its own organization. It strikes me as an extremely weak argument for forcing the rest of the IWC to unwillingly stop expressing their valid opinions about whaling and making legitimate and democratic use of the processes that organization provides for them to turn their opinions into policy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

since that would be against the ban anyway

Except it is not a ban it is a moratorium. And right in the moratorium it says that the IWC is supposed to evaluate species every 10 years and determine if each species still requires protection. And if a species can be sustainably hunted the IWC is suppose to remove it from the moratorium and issue a quota under their RMP.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

And if a species can be sustainably hunted the IWC is suppose to remove it from the moratorium and issue a quota under their RMP.

Actually the wording merely states that the IWC can "consider" modifying the limit, it does not oblige it to do anything else.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

excellent idea from NZ, Japan had to put its case forward for scientific research to the ICJ and failed, they should also have to do the same to the IWC also. will be interesting what BS excuse Japan comes up with. will be good for a laugh

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

tinawatanabe

If you want to challenge this, you have to have very convincing grounds. Not just whales are smart, etc kind of things.

Let's take a look at the list you later provided:

Anti-whaling people are making all kinds of excuses. Here comes a new one, Tohoku. Others are whales are smart and cute, that nobody eat, that mercury is high, against some judgements, waste of tax money, nationalistic, and on and on It is obvious by now that the true reason is that They are demanding Japan accept their beliefs that whales are sacred.

Some of these seem to be your opinion on what 'outsiders' are using to attack Japan, as I did not notice anyone on this board use the words 'cute' 'smart' or 'sacred'

And I know you might think I am criticising, but I am asking sincerely, since you included them in the list of bad reasons, what your views are about;

The use of tax money. Do you think the amount of money spent is justified by the results? Do you think that considering the national debt of Japan, that this should be a top priority of the government?

The consumption of whale meat. We have read reports about tons of whale meat being stocked in freezers due to low demand. Are you saying this is untrue? We know that select areas do in fact eat whale, but is it a widespread in-demand item?

Which brings me to 3. We know that a lot of whale meat consumed in occasional school lunches. Do you think it is safe for children to be eating a meat that is high in mercury and highly warned that pregnant women and children never eat it?

Again, since I actually do not have an opinion about whaling, but I am very curious because of these reasons about why the government and a large number of Japanese people are so adamant at preserving it. If your reason is culture, please explain to me how culture is more important than these three reasons.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

justbcuzisay, Not in this thread but I often saw "cute" "smart" or "sacred"

the government spend in many places. This is a small fraction. Do you know how much % of GDP? Most catch go to freezers. Why does it have to be a widespread in-demand item. There must be many food that are not in high demand. If they serve in school, they must have decided it's safe. If kids become sick, it raises national medical cost.

I don't think they are adamant. They are just doing what they have been doing. I think sovereignty is very important.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Again, since I actually do not have an opinion about whaling, but I am very curious because of these reasons about why the government and a large number of Japanese people are so adamant at preserving it. If your reason is culture, please explain to me how culture is more important than these three reasons.

This is what I find strange about the opinions of those who claim to "not have an opinion about whaling" when they don't even bother looking at the various inventory statistics indicated in the Fishery Agency's site.

First of all, most marine food sources are stored in freezers, initially. The list and the amount can be found on this link.

http://www.market.jafic.or.jp/suisan/

What I find is that there is a constant movement of products each month with inventory fluctuating as low as 2310 tons in September of 2013 and as high as 4318 in January of 2013. Under "品目別月間出庫量, we see a high of 661 tons sold in July of 2013 to as low as 365 tons in November of 2013. Hence, I do not see any unusual numbers to lead me to believe that whale meats are "low demand" compared to other marine products.

Second, whaling is not a "top priority of the government" for it is just one of many issues that the Fishery Agency deals with. But speaking of "use of tax money" I find it laughable that a non-lethal research conducted by joint NZ-Australia failed to collect a SINGLE biopsy sample of the most abundant species out there in Minke Whale for that in of itself demonstrated that such methods will never come close to the biological data gained through lethal methods. But being openly anti-whaling nations that they are, it's a de facto 'success' by them for since they were not able to gather such data, they will NEVER come up with the population number and age dynamics in order to lift the moratorium. Yes. They succeeded in keeping the status quo by using this method.

Speaking of levels of mercury, the Southern Minke whales contain very little. But I sincerely doubt the so-called people who "do not have an opinion of whaling" would advocate consumption of such species instead of the more toxic whales harvested locally. Am I wrong?

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

The Wiki page for 'Whaling in Japan' is quite interesting reading, I'd urge you all to read it. If it holds any authority, then this is what I learned amongst other things

Coastal whaling has been around in Japan for about 900 years There are places in Japan where whales are considered sacred and whaling is abhorred Japan has been trying to avoid / ignore international hunting restrictions & recommendations for over EIGHTY YEARS!! In the 30s a staggering 45,000 whales were taken in a single season. This is about a quarter of the total that was taken in the years 1988-2013 My opinion is that Japan should be able to hunt a reasonable amount of whales. This topic seems to be more and more about saving face, so if a reasonable & sustainable quota is set then Japan can fulfill its need to provide enough whale meat to satisfy the dwindling demand without being seen to be caving in to foreign 'tyrants' etc. And for me that is the key point. Unfortunately there seems to be a lack of adults involved all round http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whaling_in_Japan#Organized_whaling
0 ( +1 / -1 )

NIgelboy - no need to get upset with me. If I truly 'had an opinion' I would have been searching for proof to present you to prove my supposed point view. But, if it helps I will rephrase so maybe you can understand my intention. I can not say I am 'pro' or 'anti' whaling, I think that this topic warrants discussion. Ok?

Please accept the fact that I have genuine concern and vested interest about the future of Japan's finances and children. I appreciate you and Tinawatanabe explaining your views and will read for myself more about the mercury in Southern Minke whales and what Japanese government does to test meat given to children, but please, nigelboy, remember you 'catch more flies with honey'

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Tinawatanabe:

Why is it more important to perpetuate this abomination than to help the Japanese people?

1) It isn't commercial. It's a massive drain on tax revenue. We all have to pay more tax this year, next year, and no doubt many future years because the economy is in the toilet. We are subsidising a guaranteed lossmaker;

2) It isn't Japanese Culture. It started in 1934, with a boat made in Scotland, full of Norwegian technology;

3) It isn't scientific. No it just isn't;

4) It isn't the priority. Ask the people in Tohoku, who had 2.28 billion yen of reconstruction funds pilfered to prop up this "commercial" industry in 2011 alone.

If this were a viable industry, I'd say it was fair enough. If it were genuine science, ditto. If Japan had money to burn, there might be an argument to make for throwing it away like this.

But not enough people want to eat the stuff, and the Prime Minister said he plans to cut spending. Is this really more important than pensions, schools, hospitals and disaster relief? Seriously?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

HaraldBloodaxe

1)Japan has low food self-sufficiency. Food is important commercial or not, like rice. If your concern is tax, this is not what you should be looking into. How about high salary of public servants, or reducing the number of law makers,etc. 2)OK, whichever. 3)I think it's scientific. 4)Tohoku maybe higher priority, but different department of governments have different budgets.

There are more important things than this yes, but no relation. We've been talking about this for a long time, so your approach is not working.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@senseiman Organizations do not change their purpose to something diametrically opposed very often. And if the change is scientifically unsubstantiated and is one-sided detrimental to certain minorities, it is tyranny.

There are limits to how much an organization can change its purpose before its original meaning is lost and it should be disbanded. To change the purpose from "management" of an activity to "banning" of activity should count as one of them.

Finally, you seriously overestimate the ability of countries to just leave the IWC. Japan tried to log an objection to the whaling moratorium and the US arm-twisted it not to - the story's on Wiki.

@Mike O'Brien

And if a species can be sustainably hunted the IWC is suppose to remove it from the moratorium and issue a quota under their RMP.

Exactly. Why this even-headed comment got a minus I would never know.

@justbcuzisay Instead of contesting your point like nigelboy, I'll just ride on them. If we accept your premises, there is no valid objection to commercial whaling. It will either wither away naturally or be on a very small (thus sustainable) scale.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Tina:

1) Nobody wants to eat whale. Import food which is reasonably priced and desirable; I'm also thinking about the millions in legal fees this charade is costing, which will come out of our pockets.

2) Glad you agree;

3) You are mistaken. It isn't;

4) Precisely. That's why it is appalling that the whaling lobby thinks it can take money from the reconstruction fund.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

There are limits to how much an organization can change its purpose before its original meaning is lost and it should be disbanded.

Again, you don't really bring up any reasons to support this as a principle. Your only argument is that because they used to stand for X they should always stand for X, even if the members want to do Y and the rules specifically allow them to do so.

This makes zero sense to me - it is just conservatism for consevatism's sake. If the members want to change the focus of the organization and follow the rules then I see zero problem with that. Obviously any change is going to create winners and losers (just as staying the same would), but that isn't in and of itself a reason to oppose it.

Consider the consequences. If you want the IWC to just be a pro-whaling talk shop, it will cease to have any relevance whatsoever - other than Japan, Iceland and Norway nobody would be a member (most of the other pro-whaling countries are just paper members recruited to specifically vote against the anti-whaling faction and would have no incentive to join a purely pro-whaling organizatoin).. Those countries would still be exposed to the same political pressures that are brought to bear on them by the US and other countries which would probably prevent them from expanding their whaling programs beyond what they have with the IWC. Meanwhile the anti-whaling countries, being far more numerous, would form their own organization which, not having any pro-whaling voices to balance their internal discussion, would probably adopt a much more aggressively anti-whaling stance that could result in much stricter measures being taken against whaling than is the case now.

The two sides would just be further apart, have less dialogue, and the pro-whaling countries would be much more isolated than they are now.

Finally, you seriously overestimate the ability of countries to just leave the IWC. Japan tried to log an objection to the whaling moratorium and the US arm-twisted it not to - the story's on Wiki.

Also on the Wiki is the story of how Japan has "arm-twisted" about a dozen small developing countries with no obvious relation to whaling into joining the IWC and voting in favor of Japan. Welcome to the world of international relations - the US is just playing the same game that Japan does.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@justbcuzisay Instead of contesting your point like nigelboy, I'll just ride on them. If we accept your premises, there is no valid objection to commercial whaling. It will either wither away naturally or be on a very small (thus sustainable) scale.

I value the information nigelboy gave me, I only questioned his need to use an angry tone.

So, if you would like to tell me more about the use of tax money, feel free. I think we all agree government spending needs to be reduced. Tell me why you feel this program should be immune from being an area where the government reduces.. Because if it needs government support in the millions, I do not see sustainability in the near future.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@senseiman I originally tried to make a longer, better substantiated reply to you. JapanToday ate it and so you got the truncated version. Let's see if I can get away with this one.

Your only argument is that because they used to stand for X they should always stand for X, even if the members want to do Y and the rules specifically allow them to do so.

Let me put it this way. Suppose Japan somehow got together a coalition and they pushed a resolution through the UN, following all the usual procedures and getting the support of the majority. The only problem is that the resolution is one that destroys your country.

According to your logic, this is completely acceptable. After all, though destroying your or any other country is not the UN's original purpose ... the purpose can change freely according to you as long as it is popular among its members. Further, it should not be bound by rules of morality or the need for scientifically proved necessity.

There is a reason "tyranny of the majority" is a threat that needs management in democracy.

The two sides would just be further apart, have less dialogue, and the pro-whaling countries would be much more isolated than they are now.

Certainly, since there are more anti-whaling nations than pro-whaling, it'd be a uphill fight. Nevertheless, as a matter of principle, at least the hypocrisy will be gone.

Further, IMO you underestimate the practical effect. Right now, the anti-whaling nations have the advantage of their position being the "default" one in an organization that is theoretically supposed to take an inquisitorial approach to the problem (but is not).

If they are somehow forced to split into a separate organization, as you say the debate becomes adversarial. But now, the anti-whalers lose their cover of the ostensibly inquisitorial organization. Now they are clearly Anti-Whalers, the ones wanting to restrict use of the high seas, and they have to show cause rather than just ride on a 20+ year old moratorium. Though they can apply some political pressure they'd still have to show a veneer of science which means they actually have to invest in ships and scientists to actually go to the Antarctic to get samples (or at least make a reasonable show of doing so). This means a lot more work than sitting in the IWC meeting room and just voting "Unsat" to any report claiming (almost certainly correctly) that a little whaling won't kill the species.

Another result is that both blocs may lose those members that are in there only because it doesn't matter to them and someone offered a small incentive, which means a large growth of the neutral block, and that in itself removes the justification (insofar as it existed) for oppression of the minority. Majority v minority sounds much more convincing than minority v a slightly smaller minority.

Also on the Wiki is the story of how Japan has "arm-twisted" about a dozen small developing countries with no obvious relation to whaling into joining the IWC and voting in favor of Japan.

I read the relevant accusation of "vote-buying". Now, you tell me, which is worse:

A) I offer you 10 dollars if you will go and vote yes on an issue that doesn't really matter to you either way. B) I threaten to cut off your previously agreed access to food if you don't drop your objection on an issue dear to you. Oh, BTW, when you buckle, I cut off your food anyway.

A is Japan. B's the US. Compare.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Please accept the fact that I have genuine concern and vested interest about the future of Japan's finances and children. I appreciate you and Tinawatanabe explaining your views and will read for myself more about the mercury in Southern Minke whales and what Japanese government does to test meat given to children, but please, nigelboy, remember you 'catch more flies with honey'

If you are concerned with the finances of Japan, you should be advocating the lifting of the moratorium whereby the private entity alone are at risk operating the whaling industry without government hand outs.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Suppose Japan somehow got together a coalition and they pushed a resolution through the UN, following all the usual procedures and getting the support of the majority. The only problem is that the resolution is one that destroys your country.

According to your logic, this is completely acceptable. After all, though destroying your or any other country is not the UN's original purpose ... the purpose can change freely according to you as long as it is popular among its members.

This isn't a fair comparison because the UN's rules are clearly worded to prevent such a resolution from being passed, as it would violate the UN Charter. The UN rules limit the actions of the majority in doing something like that, which sounds like it would constitute a crime against humanity.

Please note that unlike the faulty UN example you provide, nothing in the IWC treaty makes anything its members have done actually violate the rules of the IWC. You may argue that this as a shortcoming in the IWC treaty, and that it should (or should have) included provisions to prevent the actions of anti-whaling faction that you disapprove of, but the fact is that it doesn't.

Please also note I am not making an argument that the majority should be able to change the focus of an organization at will. I am saying that all organizations have rules which govern how such changes are made. When a country or person joins that organization, that set of rules which governs change is part of the bargain that they commit to just as much as the overall purpose (etc) is. So long as everyone sticks to those rules in pursuing change, they are honoring the bargain that forms the basis for the organization in the first place. Therefore I see no problem with it. The UN rules - which form the basis of that grand bargain - clearly forbid the type of thing you are talking about, so it isn't a useful or meaningful analogy.

as you say the debate becomes adversarial.

The debate already is adversarial, my point was that it currently has a forum in which it can take place. Destroy the IWC and that forum is removed, along with the rules that govern it.

Now they are clearly Anti-Whalers, the ones wanting to restrict use of the high seas, and they have to show cause rather than just ride on a 20+ year old moratorium.Though they can apply some political pressure they'd still have to show a veneer of science which means they actually have to invest in ships and scientists to actually go to the Antarctic to get samples (or at least make a reasonable show of doing so).

Actually no they don't, and that is the problem for the pro-whalers if, as you suggest, the IWC should be disbanded simply because it is too influenced by the anti-whaling faction. Having both factions operate under one organization forces both sides to play by the rules of that organization. You obviously dislike the fact that those rules allow things like the moratorium, but it also has advantages for the pro-whalers too.

If the anti-whaling faction forms its own organization - or even if it doesn't and each country pursues their own policies to combat whaling individually - it allows them much greater latitude to craft policies against whaling than if they had to work through the IWC, which as I said imposes rules on the anti-whaling faction as well.

Take them out of the IWC framework and they are no longer bound by the terms of the current debate and can simply say "whatever the science, we don't like whaling and will craft policies to deter it." Under international law they would not have the authority to actually tell Japan "you can't whale in international waters" of course, but that is really irrelevant. They can tie other measures in their domestic laws to that question, which can have much more serious economic consequences for Japan than anything the IWC allows. Take the IWC away, or reduce it to a meaningless Iceland-Norway-Japan organization, and you incentivize the anti-whaling countries to craft their own policies in an environment in which pro-whaling countries have absolutely no voice. Coming at this even from a pro-whaling stance it makes no sense.

This isn't just theoretical, but there are quite a number of existing examples which show the dangers to countries like Japan. The US trade representative has tied a number of measures to protect other marine life at risk from over-fishing or poor fishing practices (specifically sea turtles and dolphins) by using various economic measures against countries that fail to meet certain standards. These have serious economic consequences for the states on the receiving end of them. They are also completely consistent with international law obligations, including under the WTO. These types of measures have never been used in connection with whaling simply because the IWC exists and provides an alternate venue for dealing with the issue. Remove that and you remove the fetters on measures like that.

Against all this the only functional argument you raise is that at least whatever hypocrisy exists in having a whaling organization dominated by anti-whaling policies will be removed.

A) I offer you 10 dollars if you will go and vote yes on an issue that doesn't really matter to you either way. B) I threaten to cut off your previously agreed access to food if you don't drop your objection on an issue dear to you. Oh, BTW, when you buckle, I cut off your food anyway.

Well, with all due respect you are just being silly with how you word that. Both involve a quid pro quo and can easily be dressed up with some rhetorical flourish to make one look worse than the other if you want, but that misses the point, which is that all sides in disputes like this will use whatever means they have to improve their position.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In an earlier post I made a mistake I said:

Because if it needs government support in the millions, I do not see sustainability in the near future.

I meant:

If if needs government support in the millions now, I do not see that it is an industry that can support itself even if the moratorium is lifted

nigelboy:

If you are concerned with the finances of Japan, you should be advocating the lifting of the moratorium whereby the private entity alone are at risk operating the whaling industry without government hand outs.

I feel you really are the master at twisting the discussion and trying to put words in my mouth, you seem to confuse my questions as accusations. but I will try to reply.

My original question was if supporters of whaling feel it will play a significant role in the economy and sustenance of Japan? If this is the case, I see no problem with going through the right channels to make a case to continue.

I will revise my earlier statement. I am not anti-whaling, but I do not understand the necessity of it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This isn't a fair comparison because the UN's rules are clearly worded to prevent such a resolution from being passed, as it would violate the UN Charter. The UN rules limit the actions of the majority in doing something like that, which sounds like it would constitute a crime against humanity.

I'd love to see the rules (or combination) that you think would have guaranteed it, since the use of force by the UN is specifically permitted following certain procedures.

Further, you are confounding legality with morality. We shall assume that you are correct that the UN Charter will prevent this. Does it suddenly mean it is right and OK for the UN to destroy your country if the injunction is not there? Or another kind of attack (say one that limits your country to receiving subsistence levels of food and medical supplies) that is wrongful but technically allowed is all right and OK?

Please note that unlike the faulty UN example you provide, nothing in the IWC treaty makes anything its members have done actually violate the rules of the IWC.

Really. The thing's charter is to "provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry" (which is to say, it should be pro-industry, but taking a very long term view so industry doesn't over-whale and kill the population off) and it is being twisted to allowing effectively no whaling at all. And there's no violation? If such redefinition does not violate the rules, then no rules can provide useful protection.

The debate already is adversarial, my point was that it currently has a forum in which it can take place. Destroy the IWC and that forum is removed, along with the rules that govern it.

The "debate" may or may not be adversarial, but the conclusion is given an "inquisitorial" status.

Take them out of the IWC framework and they are no longer bound by the terms of the current debate and can simply say "whatever the science, we don't like whaling and will craft policies to deter it."

If they are that desperate, then the absence or presence of the IWC makes no difference. However, for the most part, countries want at least the veneer of legitimacy, and whaling is not important enough to any country for an "at all costs" approach.

So certainly for example the US can try and threaten Japan out of whaling by doing sanctions or playing with NTBs, IWC or no. But it'd be a hard one to sell to all but a few rabid environmentalists without any scientific studies and all. Your examples, by your admission, would have something to point to - scientifically substantiated poor fishing practices or studies claiming overfishing, which actually requires some effort on the US' part. Is the US or NZ willing to pay that much for whaling? I doubt it.

One other thing going for Japan and the Russian Federation is that they are relatively big nations (unlike oh, Mexico) and the former is nominally a US' ally, which further raises the cost to the US of taking arbitrary action without a lot of legitimacy that can be provided under the fig leaf of an "inquisitorial" organization like the IWC. It is a bit like the difference b/w the legitimacy the US needed to gather to invade Iraq and Afghanistan and what would be needed to invade Japan.

Both involve a quid pro quo and can easily be dressed up with some rhetorical flourish to make one look worse than the other if you want

Your morality is getting enormously warped. You should not sacrifice it for the sake of a few whales.

To most morals, being paid to do something harmless is far less heinous than being threatened to shut up to something that is harmful to you. I am disappointed you are unable to see the difference.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'd love to see the rules (or combination) that you think would have guaranteed it, since the use of force by the UN is specifically permitted following certain procedures.

"Use of force" and "destroying a country" are not the same thing. "Destroying a country" sounds like committing arbitrary mass murder for the sake of doing so, which the UN charter clearly forbids. "Use of force"on the other hand is allowed, but it can only be done for specific reasons set out in international law.

So lets take the 1991 authorization of the use of force against Iraq. If I understand your argument, because the UN charter does not make "going to war with Iraq" one of its general purposes, the fact that the security council authorized such action means that the organization should be disbanded? You see the difficulty I am having in trying to understand the relevance of this example to your central argument (that the IWC should disband because it is out of sync with its original purpose)?

Further, you are confounding legality with morality.

I understand the distinction between the two. I also understand that this dispute is about an international legal instrument and that the parties to the dispute (Japan and the various anti-whaling countries) themselves frame the dispute in purely legal terms, so excuse me for doing the same.

If such redefinition does not violate the rules, then no rules can provide useful protection.

For the most part, international treaties are broadly worded and specifically designed to be flexible like that because of the need to have a large number of countries with various interests agree to become members. Make the treaty too rigid and inflexible (as you are suggesting) would simply undermine them by assuring that few countries would be willing to sign up.

This is the nature of international negotiation and not something that can be remedied by forcing these international organizations to stay the same.

If they are that desperate, then the absence or presence of the IWC makes no difference. However, for the most part, countries want at least the veneer of legitimacy, and whaling is not important enough to any country for an "at all costs" approach.

They don't need to be desperate and they don't need to adopt an "at all costs" approach - the costs of imposing these policies on other countries is very minor to the country doing the imposing.

So certainly for example the US can try and threaten Japan out of whaling by doing sanctions or playing with NTBs, IWC or no. But it'd be a hard one to sell to all but a few rabid environmentalists without any scientific studies and all. Your examples, by your admission, would have something to point to - scientifically substantiated poor fishing practices or studies claiming overfishing, which actually requires some effort on the US' part. Is the US or NZ willing to pay that much for whaling? I doubt it.

I don't think it would be a paritcularly hard sell - there are no vested interests in the US to oppose such actions and the political lobby favoring aggressive measures against whaling is both vocal and well-organized. I'm not saying I support such lobbies, I am just pointing out that the political situation in most of those countries provides little to suggest that they would not pursue such policies.

Your morality is getting enormously warped. You should not sacrifice it for the sake of a few whales.

With all due respect, just because I can see through a very flimsy rhetorical ploy does not mean my morals are warped.

being paid to do something harmless is far less heinous than being threatened to shut up to something that is harmful to you.

This is just your way of characterizing a given fact set in a way that is both misleading and highly biased. For starters, you don't even have the facts straight. The US didn't threaten to cut off anybody's access to food. The measures they threatened to impose would have done the opposite - limited the amount of food that Japan could SELL in the US, not the amount it could buy. Read the Wikipedia entry a bit more carefully.

That settled, to characterize it in a different way, threatening to withhold aid to extremely poor countries which desperately need it unless they do something against their will which does have negative consequences for them (tarnished credibility, strained relations with anti-whaling countries, etc) is arguably much worse than threatening to prevent the country with the world's second largest economy (at that time) from selling certain products in your own market unless they do what you want them to.

That I didn't choose to clearly set out that argument in my previous post was not a sign of my warped morals, but a sign that I viewed the arbitrary and highly misleading distinction you were trying to make as completely irrelevant to the discussion I thought we were having.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@senseiman

This isn't a fair comparison because the UN's rules are clearly worded to prevent such a resolution from being passed, as it would violate the UN Charter

And the IWC charter is clearly worded to indicate that its aim is to regulate whale stocks so they can be sustainably captured.

Recognizing that the whale stocks are susceptible of natural increases if whaling is properly regulated, and that increases in the size of whale stocks will permit increases in the number of whales which may be captured without endangering these natural resources;

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And the IWC charter is clearly worded to indicate that its aim is to regulate whale stocks so they can be sustainably captured.

It states that as its aim, but in legal terms that is a provision that has no teeth (and is intentionally so). All treaties have that type of language in their preambles which usually start with phrases like recognizing or something which do not actually create hard obligations or rights. The actual substance of the treaty - which sets out what the parties agree to bind themselves to - is contained elsewhere.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

but in legal terms that is a provision that has no teeth

Nothing about the IWC has any teeth. They have no provisions for enforcing any of their regulations. So what is your point? Is it the stated aim of the IWC? Yes.

The actual substance of the treaty - which sets out what the parties agree to bind themselves to - is contained elsewhere.

Then please find anywhere that the original ICRW treaty talks about anything but regulating whaling to ensure an ongoing supply of whales for hunting.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The IWC should vote to get rid of the scientific research clause (which is an oxymoron to begin with) and replace it with arrangement currently used by e.g. Iceland, whereby a member objecting to the moratorium states their official objection, submits a quota, and continues whaling. The IWC could also vote as a body on a proposal to censure subsidized commercial whaling. This would remove the counterproductive and disrespectful antagonism and hypocrisy characterizing the current situation with Japan, (Incidentally, Iceland also used the scientific research clause at one point in time.)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan does not seem to be able to understand that whales are actually not animals. They are apparently, to many people, the highest form of life, higher than humans. To many people they are actually Gods and worshipped as such. One thing very strange to me is that Iceland, Norway and Greenland hunt whales and there is not nearly the vitriol against those countries such as we hear ad nauseum against Japan--why is that, I wonder?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

CraigHicksSep. 19, 2014 - 03:29AM JST

Great. In other words, you propose the resumption of commercial whaling with quota in purely commercial machanism. I totally support your idea. Japanese government would be glad to hear your idea, too.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It appears that Japanese Government don't honor what they say. What is it going to take sinking whaling vessels? I rather hope not.

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Christopher BlackwellSep. 20, 2014 - 01:35PM JST

You need to read the ICJ ruling first. http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?p1=3&p2=3&k=64&case=148&code=aj&p3=4

It did not prohibit research whaling.

135 Taking into account the evidence indicating that non-lethal alternatives are not feasible, at least for the collection of certain data, and given that the value and reliability of such data are a matter of scientific opinion, the Court finds no basis to conclude that the use of lethal methods is per se unreasonable in the context of JARPA II.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It appears that Japanese Government don't honor what they say.

Just what didn't they honor?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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