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Japan's commercial whaling to restart July 1 after 3-decade hiatus

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At least there is less bare faced hypocrisy about doing this than "scientific" whaling. However, I expect that anti-whaling protests will step up too, perhaps using the Olympics as the opportunity to make Japan look bad

11 ( +16 / -5 )

OK, let's do this properly, then.

This is now "commercial" whaling.

Meaning that if consumers don't buy the product, the enterprise fails.

I've lived here for 25 and have never met a single person who enjoys whale meat. Elders on the wife's side of the family remember eating it when there was nothing else, but as soon as there was a choice, they never touched the stuff again. kind of like how my grandparents stopped drinking chicory after coffee became available.

If this is commercial, let the market decide. No more bungs of our hard-earned tax revenue to keep it ticking.

18 ( +24 / -6 )

I expect that anti-whaling protests will step up too, perhaps using the Olympics as the opportunity to make Japan look bad

These whales are being hunted in Japans EEZ.

Japan's country, Japan's rules.

-12 ( +14 / -26 )

Japanese consumers are not expecting accesses to whale meat. We welcome and will be a lot more happy if we have accesses to  reasonably priced beef. Beef has a lot more Japanese consumer's demand than the whale meat particularly among young generations. This only benefits limited businesses influential to LDP politicians.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

It's true that the whale food is Japans' secret longevity.

As a meat eater, plant eater, nut eater, seafood eater, i welcome their commercial whaling. It's better this way than to choke with the plastics.

-20 ( +8 / -28 )

Around 200,000 tons of whale meat was consumed in Japan each year in the 1960s, but the figure has fallen to around 5,000 tons in recent years, according to government data.

So, if this becomes a commercial business, does that mean the Japanese government will stop subsidizing it with Tohoku relief funds?

Also, is the above consumption rate sufficient to support a commercial business? My guess is, with consumption being so low the price of whale meat will become ridiculously high forcing consumption down even further.

Ganbare Japan! - Japan's country, Japan's rule

So, it doesn’t bother you that your taxes are being wasted on a fruitless endeavor? Japan needs to stop being a selfish brat! Japan is but one small chain of islands in a very large world. These whales being caught in Japan’s EEZ are migratory and only visit Japan for a short time of the year - to be slaughtered by the Japanese hunters

17 ( +26 / -9 )

Dispicable!

5 ( +16 / -11 )

Japan just keeps flushing its image down the toilet

13 ( +24 / -11 )

Vince BlackToday 05:12 pm JST

Japan just keeps flushing its image down the toilet

Yep. It's a national pastime, but the tourists all smile and pay compliments, so it dosen't have any impact here.

You, me and a handful of other foreign residents being angry just has no impact in a country where millions are apathetic.

But...I'm guessing the meat will be cheap, so as wages stay stagnant and sales tax rises, everyone will dig in and not think about it too much. A return to Post war glory with whale on the menu!

11 ( +18 / -7 )

Whaling operators are making final arrangements

There's only one whaling company, Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha, Ltd. which also own the whaling factory ship, Nisshin Maru. That company was working solely for the Institute of Cetacean Research. So what will their role be in commercial whaling?

There was a ¥100 million study on the refitting of the Nisshin Maru before it was decided to resume whaling. Guess they won't need a factory ship in home waters.

The industry employs less than 1,000 workers. Without subsidies impossible to turn a profit.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Hmn. Subsidies, anyone? You know there are, and kickbacks for those who arranged them.

But don't get angery. It's simply Japanese culture, you see.

3 ( +13 / -10 )

Japan's country, Japan's rules.

Our planet, everyone's concern. Tradition has no place in conservation when it is ignorant of reality.

5 ( +16 / -11 )

Japan gives subsidies to farmers. So does America and the EU countries. It's more than likely some kind of government subsidy will continue. Maybe less than previous.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan's country, Japan's rules.

If they really want to kill a few minke in their own waters, who is stop them? But it won't be long before they head out I to international waters.

Whale meat will never really catch on again - it doesn't taste good enough and Japan is too rich now.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Whale meat tastes terrible. I mistakenly had some whilst in Osaka many years ago, and now do my best to double check whether what I'm looking at is Tuna or not.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Japan can now hunt in our own seas! As is Japan's right.

But it never stopped.

Commercial whale hunting is not allowed in the Antarctic Japan did it under "research whaling" which has now ended.

"Non-signatory states are not allowed to do so, according to Japanese Fisheries Agency officials."

1 ( +6 / -5 )

The whole "whaling for science" thing has been a lie for years; no wonder no one sympathizes with Japanese whalers.

Whale hunting is a stain on Japanese "culture."

It sounds like Japan's desire to continue whaling is similar to coal mining here in the US. Both subsidized dying industries.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Almost no one in Japan wants to eat whale meat.

I see it on offer from time to time.

However, everywhere I go

Every meal conversation I hear

no one

at any time

has said,

"I want to have a whale of time."

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Commercial whale hunting is not allowed in the Antarctic Japan did it under "research whaling" which has now ended.

excellent, so since no commercial hunting is allowed in Antarctica and can now only be caught in the more polluted pacific its fair to say those high mercury levels in whale meat will remain high. bon appetit

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Non-signatory states are not allowed to do so, according to Japanese Fisheries Agency officials.

An official may have said that, but if so they are wrong. A non-signatory to the IWC Charter is 'allowed' to ignore any IWC regulation or sanctuary.

Commercial whale hunting is not allowed in the Antarctic Japan did it under "research whaling" which has now ended.

No. Commercial whale hunting by IWC members is not allowed in the Antarctic, with the exception of Article VIII research whaling. Non-IWC members do not have to follow the rules of a group they aren't part of.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Their country, their culture.

Many people out there would not appreciate Japanese people lecturing other countries on how they conduct business.

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

"Japanese officials said Japan, even after leaving the whaling convention, will remain as an observer to the IWC and plans to continue participating in the group’s scientific meetings and annual conferences."

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

"Japanese officials said Japan, even after leaving the whaling convention, will remain as an observer to the IWC and plans to continue participating in the group’s scientific meetings and annual conferences."

Thrilling.

Observers aren't members and aren't bound by the organizations rules and regulations.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

CrazyJoe - The whole "whaling for science" thing has been a lie for years; no wonder no one sympathizes with Japanese whalers.

Actually, it hasn’t been a lie. The main goal of their research was to prove commercial whaling was viable in the southern oceans. Now that they have pulled out of the IWC because their research was deemed malarkey they have decided to turn their attentions to local waters to avoid international controversy. However, I have no doubt the stocks of Japanese coastal whales will quickly be depleted. Then, we will see all their research on southern whale populations reappear with requests to commercially hunt whales in the southern oceans. Mark my words, within as little as 3-5 years Japan will be petitioning to hunt whales in the southern oceans.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Almost no one in Japan wants to eat whale meat.

I see it on offer from time to time.

However, everywhere I go

Every meal conversation I hear

no one

at any time

has said,

"I want to have a whale of time."

I think they just say that to MAKE YOU BELIEVE they don't eat it - Tatamae. In actuality, there is a large consumer base, obviously.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Hmm, that's odd - so for the last 3 decades, Japan has not sold any domestically caught whale products?

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Has anyone seen the results of the "research"?

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

 Commercial whale hunting by IWC members is not allowed in the Antarctic, with the exception of Article VIII research whaling. Non-IWC members do not have to follow the rules of a group they aren't part of.

Japan got their goal of commerical whaling resumption theyll get all the whales they could ever hope to sell in the Pacific. lets see if they have the nads to insult those countries that want to keep antartica unexploited they way it was meant to be. plenty other whaling countries arent memebers of the IWC and they have no need to hunt there. your move Japan

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Observers aren't members and aren't bound by the organizations rules and regulations.

same can be said for Chinese, korean fishermen in / near Japanese waters, cant expect to disregard other countries claims and expect other to respect yours. which is the precise reason Japan is choosing to stay in their own waters

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

As ever Japan is the poster boy for the wanton and unnecessary greed & destruction of humans. Having ruined their own environment they want to impose their faux 'culture' on the rest of the world. Our tradition, your loss.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

oldman_13June 8  10:22 pm JST

Their country, their culture.

Many people out there would not appreciate Japanese people lecturing other countries on how they conduct business.

Except that many people commenting here will be paying taxes in Japan, thus contributing to subsidies for the whaling industry. So how Japanese people conduct business is kind of our business.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

What Japan does in it's own territorial waters is Japans business.

And if the Japanese government wish to subsidise an ailing industry, it is Japans business.

At the end of the day, the Japanese comsumer will determine the fate of the industry.

I look forward to seeing the conclusions of Japans research over the past few decades, and how it will benefit mankind.

I yhink that in this case, the Japanese are better being confined to Japan.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Then, we will see all their research on southern whale populations reappear with requests to commercially hunt whales in the southern oceans. Mark my words, within as little as 3-5 years Japan will be petitioning to hunt whales in the southern oceans.

Who and why would they petition to hunt whales in the southern oceans? It is international waters and they aren't members of the IWC, so they don't need to petition or get any permission.

Has anyone seen the results of the "research"?

Anyone who wants to can read the research that has been published in numerous journals. Or they can ask the IWC for the data that Japan has provided them every year.

same can be said for Chinese, korean fishermen in / near Japanese waters, cant expect to disregard other countries claims

There are no valid claims in the southern ocean where Japan previously hunted. Such claims are precluded by the Antarctic Treaty. Meanwhile Japan's claims on (as you rightly called them) Japanese waters are supported by the UN and numerous treaties.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Except that many people commenting here will be paying taxes in Japan, thus contributing to subsidies for the whaling industry. So how Japanese people conduct business is kind of our business.

Simon, you just don't get it. This kind of argument goes nowhere with certain people. For non-Japanese nothing except praise is allowed. Love it or leave it. Dissatisfied with whaling, either shut your trap or get out. Whether you've been here a week or a decade, no matter how much you pay in taxes or contribute to society. You can teach Taro's kids, build his manshon, or clean his bedpan when he gets old but just don't raise any awkward questions.

To the chauvinists, we're all guest-workers. What never fails to amaze me is the virtual Stockholm Syndrome certain expats experience, approaching life abroad like they're guests in their lord's manor. It's hard to believe that they grew up in diverse immigrant nations that teach their people to question authority and think critically. I grew up around my German grandparents and extended family and while they were generally happy in the US, they were certainly unafraid to voice criticism when it was merited (except during the war when they were targeted). You should have heard my Grandfather on the subject of Ronald Reagan. Ditto friends' Italian, Mexican or Filipino families over the years.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

to the killing off of our whale species today

No whale species that Japan currently hunts is listed as in decline.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

While conniving pols cut their backroom deals to slyly hustle more whale meat for penny-ante profit, the polluted oceans are being steadily fished out with the Japanese leading the pack to the ultimate extinction of fish stocks. You don't need a crystal ball to see a commensurate decline in the number of sushi shops and the demise of the fish-based Japanese diet by 2050. Ganbare!

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

At the end of the day, the Japanese comsumer will determine the fate of the industry.

Whaling is heavily subsidized, so I don't think you can look upon it as a regular business. It has become a political football that gets disproportionate attention and support. There are plenty of Japanese traditional crafts that are struggling because the Japanese consumer can't afford master carpenters (miya-daiku), real kimonos, lacquerware, high-end ceramics, etc. I would love to fill my house with Bizen pottery if the government would subsidize it to a level I can afford.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@Ex_Res - I look forward to seeing the conclusions of Japans research over the past few decades, and how it will benefit mankind.

Well, there is a misnomer. The research done by Japan over the many years of exploiting the loop hole was solely for Japan’s purpose of proving commercial whaling was viable. There is not one piece of research carried out by Japan in all the years they hunted whales in the southern oceans that will benefit mankind. Not one! Any other data that came from their research had already been supplied by other scientists through non-lethal research.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Many of the research papers presented where not peer reviewed articles and many rejected by the scientists. Cost of each research paper was about ¥100 million.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Let's see how long this "commercial" whaling lasts before the operators start moaning and whining and demanding subsidies from our taxes.

I think the Japanese can do what they like in their own waters, but I will not be buying or eating whale, or doing anything that helps the whalers. If nobody buys the whale meat (and that includes the government), then it will stop.

The Miyagi town is called Ishinomaki by the way.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

No whale species that Japan currently hunts is listed as in decline.

not yet anyway but give it time, more than half of the 85 fish species that are caught in waters near Japan, the stocks of 36 species are at a low level, with 15 of them facing continuous decline. clearly caused from overfishing. Japans current record of ocean conservation is pathetic at best.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2014/05/28/editorials/managing-declining-fish-stocks/#.XPyTwIgzYuU

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Simon, you just don't get it. This kind of argument goes nowhere with certain people. For non-Japanese nothing except praise is allowed. Love it or leave it. Dissatisfied with whaling, either shut your trap or get out. Whether you've been here a week or a decade, no matter how much you pay in taxes or contribute to society. You can teach Taro's kids, build his manshon, or clean his bedpan when he gets old but just don't raise any awkward questions.

To the chauvinists, we're all guest-workers.

I disagree

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Japan just keeps flushing its image down the toilet

Commercial whaling does not seem to flush the image of either Norway or Iceland down the toilet.

Can you explain why whaling will have such an effect on Japan when it does not appear to have that effect on either Norway or Iceland?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Oh, yes it does, bullfighter. Norwegian and Icelandic whaling is huge black mark against both countries and I wonder why they engage in this repulsive, irresponsible act. The oceans are fighting for survival, in case anyone has not noticed, with the population of whales and fish and much else spiraling towards zero.

My local grocery store always has one or two packs of dark bloody red whale クジラ

whale meat for sale. It is offensive and disquieting. There is plenty of evidence out there for this, and not any that is free of propaganda and support by "whaling" interests. I strongly suggest whale watching tours instead of whale (and dolphin) murder.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

This hunt for research is garbage talk. According to my j-wife who had to eat whale meat in school lunches, it tasted terrible. Shame on Japan.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

There is not one piece of research carried out by Japan in all the years they hunted whales in the southern oceans that will benefit mankind. Not one!

And why should it? The benefit of mankind isn't the ultimate goal of all research.

Any other data that came from their research had already been supplied by other scientists through non-lethal research.

Nope. Even the IWC scientists have repeatedly stated that some of the data collected by Japan can ONLY be collected by lethal means.

not yet anyway but give it time

It has been over 30 years and it hasn't happened yet. So just how long do we have to wait for the claims of doom and gloom to occur?

My local grocery store always has one or two packs of dark bloody red whale クジラ

> whale meat for sale. It is offensive and disquieting.

If it is offensive and disquieting why don't you shop somewhere else to show your displeasure?

According to my j-wife who had to eat whale meat in school lunches, it tasted terrible.

I bet I can find people who think any given food tastes terrible. Yet those people's opinions don't seem to stop other people from liking the taste.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Japan's priorities are a joke LOL

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

This is just a beginning. Japan must man up and firm, do what a sovereign nation has to do.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Oh, yes it does, bullfighter. Norwegian and Icelandic whaling is huge black mark against both countries 

I forgot to mention Denmark.

https://www.news18.com/news/buzz/annual-ritual-sees-hundreds-of-whales-slaughtered-in-denmark-pictures-spark-outrage-2170285.html

Why are these kills such a big deal when done by Japanese but hardly mentioned when done by Europeans?

I don't support either Japanese or Europeans doing this but the gross disparity in news coverage looks very suspicious. Many more articles about Taiji in Japan than the Faroe Islands (Denmark) although both do essentially the same thing.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

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