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Japan's whaling ships leave for Antarctic hunt

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Best of luck to Sea Shepherds.

10 ( +20 / -9 )

"Tokyo defends the practice saying eating whale is part of Japanese culinary tradition" This is ludicrous.

14 ( +20 / -6 )

So not waiting for the outcome of the court case in the Hague, due by the end of the year or early next year? The Sea Shepherd fleet is ready to depart within the week. Last Spring, the Australian gov't said it would be sending a coast guard ship to monitor the Japanese whaling fleet?

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Is is their right and culture to do as they see fit.

Some here wouldn't like Japanese to tell them what they can and cannot do, glass houses and all.

Hopefully any sea shepherd thugs that get in their way get their just desserts.

-16 ( +10 / -26 )

"Tokyo defends the practice saying eating whale is part of Japanese culinary tradition" This is ludicrous.

Ludicrilicious, I think you mean. Eating whale IS part of Japanese culinary tradition. That much is true. It's not a defense though.

tldr -- Legally justifiable, sustainably justifiable, but culturally unjustifiable and politically idiotic.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Is it really neccessary to take almost 1000 of these sentient beings? Can't we cause less suffering? Surely one third would suffice.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

That does it ! My Sunday morning is completely ruined ! Three pieces of BAD news to start off the day, one after the other...

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Sadly, it seems that Japan is not willing to learn from it's past mistakes.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Carry on men, carry on. (I'm on the whalers side.)

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

A whaling mission may be adapted to the state secrets law if the minister say so! No any more information in public at next whaling.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Is it really neccessary to take almost 1000 of these sentient beings? Can't we cause less suffering? Surely one third would suffice.

No, it isn't necessary at all. Last season, as the article states, they killed 103 and the world didn't come to an end, there were no starving Japanese out on the streets begging for food because they were missing their whale..... They do not need to take any.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

From a purely practical view, this is a waste of time and money. There is not enough demand for whale meat for this industry to be viable, it is only through subsidies that it continues. The tax payer has to fork out money to catch meat that no one eats and antagonizes many other countries. Seems a bit bloody minded to me.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

The international poachers are at it again with no repentance. Show no mercy Sea Shepherd.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

It is their right and culture to do as they see fit

oldman_13: If the whalers were operating in Japanese territorial waters I might agree, but they are travelling half way around the world to waters that do not belong to Japan to kill whales that do not belong to Japan.

I say they have no right to do this and their actions can in no way be described as "Japanese culture" (unless you consider depletion of fish stocks Japanese culture). Pig-headed arrogance is what I call it and I hope that Sea Shepherd stop them and cause them to make a loss (again).

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Go get 'em, Sea Shepherd . Give these environmental-terrorists hell again! The grubs on the whaling ships will fail again just like last year.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

The only way the Japanese will learn is to torpedo their whaling ships; every one of them until it is non-existent.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is the wrong time to be chasing whales. Stay home for a year or. Bad karma.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

@Scrote

oldman_13: If the whalers were operating in Japanese territorial waters I might agree, but they are travelling half way around the world to waters that do not belong to Japan to kill whales that do not belong to Japan.

I say they have no right to do this and their actions can in no way be described as "Japanese culture" (unless you consider depletion of fish stocks Japanese culture). Pig-headed arrogance is what I call it and I hope that Sea Shepherd stop them and cause them to make a loss (again).

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@All 1) Unless specifically barred otherwise by international agreement, those are open seas and Japan may fish there as it sees fit. 2) There is no fundamental reason to be particularly against whale-killing. The only morally justifiable reason for restriction is Necessity for Biosystem Stabiility, and whether you call Japan's whaling "research and making good use of the remains" or "commercial in the guise of research", to the extent it is happening it does not seem the Whales are dying out for it, so there is no Necessity for Objection even if you insist on a Potential Necessity to keep the restriction in the first place.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Its very Interesting that of all the TV shows in Japan ,(which I stopped watching) they all talk about foods, I never seen even one , talk about whale meat!

Japan please stop the Lies, as the world watches, Japan will loose certain islands just by principles !

4 ( +6 / -2 )

CrazyJoeDec. 08, 2013 - 08:27AM JST "Tokyo defends the practice saying eating whale is part of Japanese culinary tradition" This is ludicrous.

No it's no more ludicrous than Icelanders, Norwegians or Inuit having a tradition of eating whale meat. It's an established fact.

Christopher SmithDec. 08, 2013 - 08:57AM JST Is it really neccessary to take almost 1000 of these sentient beings?

Star Trek IV was just a movie.

cleoDec. 08, 2013 - 09:43AM JST "Is it really neccessary to take almost 1000 of these sentient beings? Can't we cause less suffering? Surely one third would suffice. No, it isn't necessary at all. Last season, as the article states, they killed 103 and the world didn't come to an end,

Yes and neither did any whale population.

ScroteDec. 08, 2013 - 10:12AM JST oldman_13: If the whalers were operating in Japanese territorial waters I might agree, but they are travelling half way >around the world to waters that do not belong to Japan to kill whales that do not belong to Japan.

The whales., which belong to nobody, are being taken in international waters which belong to nobody.

Bad2DboneDec. 08, 2013 - 11:06AM JST Its Japan please stop the Lies, as the world watches, Japan will loose certain islands just by principles !

Australia has taken the whaling issue to the ICJ and Japan has answered. Any particular reason why the anti-whaling crowd can't wait for an ICJ ruling? And since so many can't differentiate whaling from territorial issues, if China were to take the issue to the ICJ Japan would be happy to answer it. But it does make sense that anti-whalers who advocate violence, eco-terrorism and piracy as determined by the U.S. would support a country that also resorts to violence.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

That does it ! My Sunday morning is completely ruined ! Three pieces of BAD news to start off the day, one after the other...

So your day is ruined because of some whales in the Antarctic Sea that you have never seen?

-3 ( +4 / -8 )

When the topic whaling comes up, the Japanese start talking about their very precious "food culture" and "culinary tradition".

How the hell does Japan's culture include the Antarctic?!

If my country pushed a "culture" that demanded we grab resources from 1000s and 1000s of kilometers away, in fact, from the other side of the world.... well, I for one would want nothing to do with such a claimed culture.... because it's not culture... it's just greed and arrogance.

There is no other way to describe it. According to the Japanese government's data there are an abundance of whales in the seas around Japan... more than enough for this tiny tiny niche market.

I think many people, me included, have no problem with Japan taking whales sustainably in the seas around Japan.

The problem is these greedy and arrogant expeditions with a massive Victorian era style fleet to the furthest reaches of the globe to grab resources from a pristine wilderness environment... Japan really needs to think again...

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Whaling has always been about local jobs and nationalism, nothing much more than that..

6 ( +8 / -2 )

choiwaruoyajiDec. 08, 2013 - 12:02PM JST When the topic whaling comes up, the Japanese start talking about their very precious "food culture" and "culinary >tradition". How the hell does Japan's culture include the Antarctic?!

The location is not the "culture". It's the use of whalemeat as a food source that is the "culture".

If my country pushed a "culture" that demanded we grab resources from 1000s and 1000s of kilometers away, in fact, >from the other side of the world.... well, I for one would want nothing to do with such a claimed culture.... because it's >not culture... it's just greed and arrogance

I can guarantee you that "your country" wherever it may be does import foods derived from resources 1000s of kilometers away, be it meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, grains, raw or processed, you name it. In fact you probably eat them on a daily basis.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

The location is not the "culture". It's the use of whalemeat as a food source that is the "culture".

Don't be ridiculous. Where food is sourced is a very important part of "food culture". Haven't you heard of the "chisan-chiho" movement in Japan?!

There may be some English information for you about it on the net.

I can guarantee you that "your country" wherever it may be does import foods derived from resources 1000s of kilometers away, be it meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, grains, raw or processed, you name it.

And I am opposed to that... Sorry, I thought people might be able to infer that from what I am saying... obviously not.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Whale meat really does taste good.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

No local residents in the vicinity of the whale hunting are in favor of whaling

Exactly!

Remember, the Antarctic is a pristine wilderness environment... it's sheer greed on the part of the Japanese to demand to take whales there. Think of all that gasoline they are burning to get their huge Victorian-era fleet all the way down there.

It's completely out of step with world opinion, and also out of step with all the countries nearest to the Antarctic... countries who naturally consider this area to be their neck of the woods.

Count them on your fingers... every single one of them opposed to whaling... South Africa, Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand...

How incredibly arrogant of Japan to ignore their opinions.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Go whalers go! I'm not for killing whales but I'm for anythingg that counters the ridiculous sea shepards. The SS's stupid actions only brought more support for those who are against them!

-19 ( +1 / -20 )

YeahRight you get so much from whale niku. Mercury and other dangerous pollutants like PCBs and cadmium can be found in dolphin and small whale meat. The people that sell this meat are the same type liars that have been hurting Japan and the world for years.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

The SS's stupid actions only brought more support for those who are against them!

Nah matey, SS donations have rocketed whilst the Japanese are losing influence in nations opposed to whaling.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Must be a cultural thing to alianate your neighbors and allies while crying about no one understanding just how "special" you are?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

"Japan’s whale hunts have long drawn criticism from activists and foreign governments, but Tokyo defends the practice saying eating whale is part of Japanese culinary tradition."

Ah, so it's not for science. You really gotta love how they claim it's for science, but when you point out it's not they fall back on this "attacking our traditional culture" garbage. So, now, 'washoku' comes from the Antarctic Ocean? How is it then Japanese and has been passed down by generations upon generations?

It's so hilarious how they defeat their own arguments. Hopefully Sea Shepherd is up and ready to take them on and beat them again.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Millions of dollars worth of Japanese Yens wasted. Oh yeah, next there is a crisis in Japan, like the tsunami, you aren't going to get the help you did before because money for that was criminally used on illegal whaling.

God speed to the Sea Shepherds, may the whaling fleet see thousands of miles of empty ocean, except for the SS ship on their stern.

6 ( +10 / -3 )

You can't escape Karma. It will come back to hit you.

3 ( +6 / -2 )

Eating whale is not good for you. They accumulate many substances like mercury because they live long.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I think Japan just enjoys the attention. Pathetic leadership.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I hope the whales are reading this!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

THe idea that whale meat is "Japanese culture" is the lamest excuse ever. Was it a protein source many years ago? Yes. It it today? No. And a quick look around modern day Japan will prove that. If the Japanese loved whale so much, there would be more whale meat restaurants -- or at least some sushi shops that sell it. Check out the menus of the major sushi chains and you won't see kujira featured anywhere.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

They are only sold by internet! Good idea, whales hamburger! I need to try this idea!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

They are only sold by internet!

Ah yes, because the Internet has been an integral part of Japanese Culture since Edo times.

3 ( +5 / -1 )

" The SS's stupid actions only brought more support for those who are against them!" * Got proof for that?...If not its just a whole lot of wishful thinking on your part. Godspeed SS.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

choiwaruoyajiDec. 08, 2013 - 12:40PM JST "The location is not the "culture". It's the use of whalemeat as a food source that is the "culture". Don't be ridiculous. Where food is sourced is a very important part of "food culture". Haven't you heard of the "chisan->chiho" movement in Japan?!

Only within Japan. And it's not "food culture" it's "food marketing".

spudmanDec. 08, 2013 - 12:48PM JST "can guarantee you that "your country" wherever it may be does import foods derived from resources 1000s of kilometers away, be it meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, grains, raw or processed, you name it. In fact you probably eat them on a daily basis." probably but those resources are farmed and willingly sold by the locals.

Wild caught seafoods, which are the majority, are not farmed.

No local residents in the vicinity of the whale hunting are in favor of whaling,

There are no residents in the vicinity period, either for or against whaling.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

I get a laugh out of people who talk about their "oh-so-precious food culture" and then demand to grab a resource from the opposite side of the globe as a part of that food culture.

It really is laughable.

If the Japanese wish to push this "whaling is our food culture" down everybody's throat then they would be best advised to take those whales from the seas around Japan.

According to their own data there are more than enough whales in the seas near Japan for this tiny niche market.

Claiming a "unique food culture" and then burning tonnes and tonnes of gasoline to send a Victorian-era style fleet to the furthest reaches of the globe to grab resources... well... the Japanese are just making themselves a laughing stock on the world stage.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

choiwaruoyajiDec. 08, 2013 - 10:43PM JST I get a laugh out of people who talk about their "oh-so-precious food culture" and then demand to grab a resource >from the opposite side of the globe as a part of that food culture.

We all do it on this planet. The "culture" is the food itself, not where it comes from.

If the Japanese wish to push this "whaling is our food culture" down everybody's throat then they would be best >advised to take those whales from the seas around Japan.

Thanks for confirming that you don't really care about the whales at all. So, clearly your concern is that you feel they are taking whales in "Australian" waters?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Looks like Sea Shepherd will be getting another donation from me in 2014.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

It will be funny if the ICJ comes out with a ruling the validates Japan's rights to conduct it's whaling program, just as SSCS is about to launch it's first attacks. (SSCS, which purports to "enforce the law", would have wasted a lot of fuel to get there and all for nothing.)

It would also be funny if the ICJ comes out with a ruling that stipulates that Japan must cease it's whaling program, and are forced to turn around and head home.

Either way, I hope the ICJ comes out with a ruling! It's either legal or it isn't.

As both SSCS and the whalers have full respect for the law, one side would be forced to go home with their tail between their legs. This would make for great media.

Then again, perhaps the whalers would go rogue, and then it would all be on. Maybe they could harpoon that fat guy just like they did in that South Park episode. Alternatively, I can't imagine SSCS going rogue. They are 100% law abiding, aren't they.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@fxgai, I also wait to see what the ICJ ruling is but more out of academic curiosity because the actual ruling is meaningless.

If the ICJ rules for Japan the SSCS will not stop. They will claim bribes were made. And since there current actions aren't legal to begin with, a ruling from the ICJ (which only applies to countries not individuals) won't change their minds or stop them.

If the ICJ rules for Australia then Japan can just quit the IWC. The IWC is a voluntary organization and the moratorium only applies to members. If Japan were to leave the IWC then they could continue to issue their own whaling permits, just like Canada has done since they left the IWC.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

...doing their best to the good will that Japan otherwise enjoys.

Sad to see that this nonsense continues.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

We can't eat whales until solve the problem of Fukushima. It contain cesium! I haven't thought about that!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

At least in my hometown, whale meat was common food. But it became too expensive now. I miss whale meat dish cooked by my grandmother who died in this year. I cannot understand why white people come to Asia from opposite side of the Earth and claim us to give up our culture and foods. Can they say such thing to Japanese old man and lady directly?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Good luck Sea Shepherd. Send the interlopers packing!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

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