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Abe defends dolphin hunting

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For the sake of festivals and traditions, I agree with PM Abe. But the dolphin and whale meat should only be sold within Taiji. No meat shall be sold in Tokyo or outside Taiji.

Dolphins eat a lot of fish species that humans also eat. Uncontrolled dolphin populations will take a lot of fish for human consumption.

-17 ( +10 / -25 )

“In every country and region, there are practices and ways of living and culture that have been handed down from ancestors,” the premier added. “Naturally, I feel that these should be respected.”

Culture evolves over time - some things stay and some things disappear as people come understand what was once acceptable is no longer really ethical.... Abe's thinking highlights why Japan is now lagging in so many areas - the inability to change and move with the times...

18 ( +31 / -13 )

Dolphin hunting is not Japanese culture. To be exact it's a culture only in a particular region (Taiji) of Japan.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

Are you kidding me ? Cultural practices throughout history are often abhorrent and unacceptable in our present consciousness . Weak excuse for this Inhumane and backwards practice to satisfy our selfish tastes. Let us evolve into a more noble species...please.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

People seem to be confused by globalisation. They want to make the whole world some vanilla flavoured version of their own back yard. Plenty of cultures have strange and sometime "questionable" practices. If they violate internationally accepted human rights then this is cause for concern. Dolphins do not have human rights as they are animals. They are not even covered by the IWC this leaves it up to I individual countries to regulate. As the dolphin is not an endangered species and the culture is to Hunt them "in Taiji"' then that is the route taken by the government. After all it's the governments job in a democratic country to follow what the majority of people want.

X

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Japan and the world are facing a serious threat from China, I don't understand why now Ms Kennedy says things like this that undermines Japan-US relations. I want her to realize that she is hurting Japanese people's feelings.

-22 ( +8 / -28 )

“The dolphin fishing that takes place in Taiji town is an ancient fishing practice rooted in their culture… and supports their livelihoods,”

Can't believe this buffoon is still in power or even got back into power! "Rooted in their culture"? - They've only been hunting dolphins since 1933! Moreover, the only ''livelihoods'' being supported here, are the ones in Taiji! And if anyone's ever been there, while it's a quaint looking place, it only has a population of less than 4,000. Dolphin hunting is neither necessary or required to sustain their local economy!

3 ( +10 / -7 )

We are in a 21st century now. Countries the world over had abandoned archaic, no longer acceptable practices and traditions. Time for Japan to drag itself kicking and screaming into the future as well. As nostromo said above - Japan,s inability and resistance to any change for sake of hanging on "traditions " has often unnecessarily hindered its progress be it economically, socially or politically. Japan can do better than this - time to move on with the times.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Nothing wrong with that. Whether this dolphin thing had started in 1933 or in 933, if some people in Japan consider it their culture, and the people of Japan as a whole do not object, as representative of his people, it is Abe's job to defend it as best he can. Nothing more, nothing less.

There is no human rights issue involved here, as opposed to those "archaic, no longer acceptable practices" that so many people complain about.

The tyranny of the majority is a real threat is a democratic world.

2 ( +11 / -10 )

Whether this dolphin thing had started in 1933 or in 933, if some people in Japan consider it their culture, and the people of Japan as a whole do not object, as representative of his people, it is Abe's job to defend it as best he can. Nothing more, nothing less.

I do think it's important not to defend it with statements that aren't true. Taiji has been a whaling town since the 18th century. This isn't exactly ancient, but maybe that's old enough to be called a tradition. It had its first dolphin hunt in 1933. This certainly isn't ancient, and most people would say that isn't anywhere near old enough to be called a tradition.

Telling the truth is important for representatives of the people.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Kazuaki Shimazaki

Whether this dolphin thing had started in 1933 or in 933

pretty sure most people would see a big difference

some people in Japan consider it their culture

like whaling, the term "culture" is loosely defined at best

the people of Japan as a whole do not object

Japanese people as a whole finding the courage to object to some cause? yeah right, like that's ever gunna happen

it is Abe's job to defend it as best he can

Abe is an ultra conservative... he wishes it was 1933 all over again

The tyranny of the majority is a real threat is a democratic world

what does that even mean?

0 ( +9 / -9 )

" There is no human rights issue involved here, as opposed to those "archaic, no longer acceptable practices" that so many people complain about. The tyranny of the majority is a real threat is a democratic world."

Absolutely agree! What's ironic is that the most vocal protesters have the audacity to claim to be "liberals" where they in fact are the ones ardently pursuing the restraint of the liberty of others.

-5 ( +6 / -13 )

What's ironic is that the most vocal protesters have the audacity to claim to be "liberals" where they in fact are the ones ardently pursuing the restraint of the liberty of others.

The application of 'Liberal' or 'conservative' is an American construct that the rest of the world doesn't feel the need to do to everyone, in order to try to pigeonhole them into a political paradigm that they feel fits that person's beliefs.

While you may find that some of the anti-dolphiners call themselves liberals, it will only be the American ones, and while you may find that some people refer to them as liberals, it will only be Americans doing so.

The rest of the world is not America.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

“In every country and region, there are practices and ways of living and culture that have been handed down from ancestors,” the premier added. “Naturally, I feel that these should be respected.

Wow now i realize how Abe thinks anything that happened in the past if it is for the good Japan Abe will see nothing wrong with it. If there is a change such as territorial rights to claim he will fight it and expect the world to side with him this guy does not believe in change total old school

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Personally, I'm opposed to dolphin hunting such as practiced at Taiji in Wakayama. In Okinawa, Nago was famous for dolphin hunting until 1970's but the cetaceans stopped coming to Nago Bay for unknown reasons whereby traditional dolphin hunting at Nago declined as a culture.

This article, at the same time, reminds me of how much the 19th-century United States whalers wreaked havoc with whales the world over. U.S. whaling ships hunted for whales solely for their oil to light street lamps in cities. An accidental byproduct of commercial whaling by the United States was to force a reclusive Japan to open its doors to ensure rest and supplies for American whalers.

The article, together with the Jan. 23 "Kennedy weighs in ..." article, also reminds me of industrial-scale bison hunting in the American West for their hides and meat. Settler governments encouraged mass killing of bisons deliberately to destroy the food source of indigenous Indian tribes. As a result, the popupation of bisons which once covered the prairies like ocean waves, declined sharply to the brink of extinction.

When the U.S. side accuses Taiji residents for dolphin hunting, it must always do so by bearing these historical facts in mind.

-1 ( +4 / -6 )

If this community would operate some factory and pollute surrounding water with chemicals lot more dolphin and other marine life could die.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

“The dolphin fishing that takes place in Taiji town is an ancient fishing practice rooted in their culture… and supports their livelihoods,”

Maybe PM Abe should inject a little Abenomics into the Taiji region to supplant this desperate search for livelihood income.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Corrrection:

The article, together with the Jan. 21 "Suga defends dolphin hunt ..." article, also reminds me of ...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Abe is defending his vote.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I have no idea what was in ABe's head. Why weigh in on this at all? Unless he just enjoys rubbing salt in the emotional wounds of those who respect all intelligent beings. But at least, he noticed it, which is more than I can say for most Japanese who say they were not even aware such things happened.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I have no idea what was in ABe's head. Why weigh in on this at all? Unless he just enjoys rubbing salt in the emotional wounds of those who respect all intelligent beings

It is Ms Kennedy who weigh in on this unless she just enjoys rubbing salt in the emotional wounds of those who respect all intelligenct human beings of Taiji.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

@thedrifter I opposed and went on marches to protest against the 'traditional' barbarism of fox hunting in my own country. I was mortified when I came to Japan and was told by a coworker that this was one if his images of Britain and asked if I'd taken part in it. My reply went something along the lines of asking him not to judge the culture as a whole by the acts of certain individuals. I certainly don't judge Japanese people by putting them on the level of Taiji dolphin hunters or Shinzo Abe any more than judging British people by the standards of fox hunters or David Cameron. My Japanese and British friends would be extremely offended if I did.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Abe wants to rebuild the Japanese armed forces, supports Nuclear Power, and now it's OK to kill dolphins!

What is this guy, the AntiChrist?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

“In every country and region, there are practices and ways of living and culture that have been handed down from ancestors,” the premier added. “Naturally, I feel that these should be respected.”

Even if they're pointless, anachronistic and stupid?

2 ( +7 / -4 )

Further correction:

The article, together with the Jan. 20 "U.S. envoy Kennedy tweets concern ..." article, also reminds me of ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ahhh deep "culture" going way back to the latest 2% of Japan's recorded history.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"I hope you will understand this,”

Hahaha... good luck with that, bud. This 45 or so year old 'tradition' is not "dolphin fishing", it's outright slaughter. The world is completely against the hunt, and Abe going around trying to get everyone to believe China should be isolated and to assist Japan in that respect... then he says THIS?

0 ( +9 / -9 )

It is sad to see that Abe steps into this. He is destroying a lot of goodwill that Japan has enjoyed in regard with its troubles with China.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Nothing wrong with that. Whether this dolphin thing had started in 1933 or in 933, if some people in Japan consider it their culture, and the people of Japan as a whole do not object, as representative of his people, it is Abe's job to defend it as best he can. Nothing more, nothing less.

Abe's job is to improve Japan's ties with rest of the world, which we all know that he's doing a very poor job of.

And there is a such thing as animal rights. Animals should not suffer excess pain for the sake of us. There are many laws that are in accordance with animal rights and ethics.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

What's ironic is that the most vocal protesters have the audacity to claim to be "liberals" where they in fact are the ones ardently pursuing the restraint of the liberty of others.

The application of 'Liberal' or 'conservative' is an American construct that the rest of the world doesn't feel the need to do to everyone, in order to try to pigeonhole them into a political paradigm that they feel fits that person's beliefs.

While you may find that some of the anti-dolphiners call themselves liberals, it will only be the American ones, and while you may find that some people refer to them as liberals, it will only be Americans doing so.

The rest of the world is not America

Oh grow up! Dont you even understand what liberal means-it doesnt mean a political party. So yeah, no we arent all Americans. And yeah liberal sounding viewpoints are, yeah, very tyrannical and undemocratic, and actually quite unliberal. Why do you even care about this years number of dead dolphins, if you even cared to think about this years number of dead people, killed by war, bombings etc, you wouldnt even have time to consider about this little number of animals. The only people who care are those who want to stir up trouble-like Kennedy. Americas true colours or would that be stripes starting to show eh. Or perhaps the true troubles and woes. People who dont really care about the numbers at all.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

tinawatanabeJAN. 26, 2014 - 01:16PM JST I have no idea what was in ABe's head. Why weigh in on this at all? Unless he just enjoys rubbing salt in the emotional wounds of those who respect all intelligent beings It is Ms Kennedy who weigh in on this unless she just enjoys rubbing salt in the emotional wounds of those who respect all intelligenct human beings of Taiji.

I don't see anybody rounding up and killing Taiji people, do you? I say don't attack the Taiji people too, instead support them, in finding a less cruel and internationally repulsive employment.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Talking of "traditions", I believe it used to be a "tradition" in some European countries to put people (considered "undesirable") in the "stocks" and throw rotten eggs, tomatoes, etc. at them... Should we keep this tradition up too ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The dolphin meat sold from the annual slaughter is dangerously contaminated with mercury - decades of eating toxic waste will soon leave the population of thectown decimated and solve the problem ......

0 ( +2 / -3 )

“In every country and region, there are practices and ways of living and culture that have been handed down from ancestors,” the premier added. “Naturally, I feel that these should be respected.”

New found respect for Abe! =))) I agree wholeheartedly with this comment. I am from Newfoundland, Canada. A province that hosts an annual 'Seal Hunt'. We get celebrities from Paul McCartney to Pamela Anderson (Just last month!) who come to Newfoundland to tell us how backwards we are and how our tradition is putting the seal population at risk (which is misinformation because there is actually a population spike of seals recently). I personally think that if there is a cultural hunt being practiced in a country, other countries need to keep their nose out of it.

-2 ( +2 / -3 )

And I thought Obama said stupid stuff. For me, the jury had been out on 'Abe.' With this remark, he has put himself in 'Just another politician' category. I've read some really good comments about how culture changes. And here we have the PM defending a literal blood bath. It just boggles my mind. And he says China is barbaric and immature?My head hurts. I so want Japan succeed but, with their PM blowing off the world consensus I don't see any change in their future. No wonder the birth rate is going down. The Biosphere has reached max capacity and it is now producing degenerated individuals, sands, the PM and Taiji Dolphin Killers. Dang, that sounds like the name of a band. Blah Blah Blah~ It is too early to write coherently.. my apologies. Where is my coffee!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Abe is the man. Abe is the PM of Japan. He is not the prime minister of the world and he is not heading the coalitions of the liberal environmentalists.

Abe is just the right man for Japan.

USA/Europe in the early 19th centuries were killing baleen whales just for oils and Japan did not mind them. US/European whalers are killing whales without eating them... just for the oil. In the 19th century, US/European whalers invented rocket harpoon with air blower hole on the tip which inject air to Baleen whales while they are still alive so that when they died, they will not sink into the oceans.

Taiji people are hunting them just for food.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Abe is the man. Abe is the PM of Japan. He is not the prime minister of the world and he is not heading the coalitions of the liberal environmentalists.

Well see the problem is that a lot of countries are going to be upset with Japan, which is not in the best interest for Japan. So you're saying... Japan should be behind in terms of animal rights and ethics and lose respect. You're saying that there should be more reasons for other countries to hate on Japan. You're saying that Japan should become more isolated and alone in the international arena. See how that goes?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

USA/Europe in the early 19th centuries were killing baleen whales just for oils and Japan did not mind them. US/European whalers are killing whales without eating them... just for the oil. In the 19th century, US/European whalers invented rocket harpoon with air blower hole on the tip which inject air to Baleen whales while they are still alive so that when they died, they will not sink into the oceans.

Yes, humans have done many horrible things over the years. But, the differences is that no matter how long things have been done in the past, we can realize that they should not be done any more and stop doing them. Comparing apples to oranges here. BTW, from what I understand, a huge amount of the profits from Taiji is to sell the dolphins to amusement parks, where is the tradition and food supply there?

3 ( +3 / -1 )

illsayit:

" What's ironic is that the most vocal protesters have the audacity to claim to be "liberals" "

I have not seen anybody claim to be liberal or conservative in this thread. In fact, looking at some frequent posters, I think this issue cuts across party lines. It is you who is trying to frame this in terms of US party politics.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@illSayIt

No one here said the rest of the world is America but for you to write it I guess you think it is. Dont hate on the americans because all the posters here are not americans or liberals.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

AU_user_since_1998

Taiji people are hunting them just for food.

Nothing could be further from the truth - they make the big bucks (around 3 million dollars) from selling dolphins to zoos and marine parks, the left overs get packaged as cheap whale meat to whoever can stomach the taste and the risk of mercury poisoning.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karen-dawn/is-japans-dolphin-slaughter-really-for-food_b_4656345.html

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This is the kind of thing you get when you have small-minded, provincial, and defensively conservative ignoramuses having too much control over the political party of a major world economy.

Oh, and Japan also has this problem...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I saw that interview on CNN this morning and Abe did finish it off by advising that there are very strict regulations on dolphin culling and methods of killing, which did address the 'inhumanity' of it, which the CNN correspondent brought up, but at no time was the question of its legality ever brought up.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

But at least, he noticed it

Yeah, hes had about a 1000 messages a day discussing Taiji on his facebook page. Even though he wouldnt be directly involved with the running of it, Im sure whoever is wouldve told him

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@illSayIt

No one here said the rest of the world is America but for you to write it I guess you think it is. Dont hate on the americans because all the posters here are not americans or liberals

yeah and just like I forgot to put this in quotes, I did also with my earlier post. BUT. Boy do some people have a short memory if they are reading the thread. You would have noticed I quoted somebody else and saying exactly what you are saying. Sheesh! Couldnt you tell?????? Or did my name just get you hung up eh. Flattered.

I cant really even be bothered be talking about this issue cept for all the recent posts on other social sites that are accusative to Japan. And not to mention they are written in Chinese at times......

`igloobuyer I have no idea how you can put humans and dolphins on the same level. Honestly it is betond me how you can even state that they are the same. While ever your and others mindset is like that we'd have to agree to disagree. Cause there is a lot more people that I am concerned about before some ocean animal.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

igloobuyer I don't think they're in an internationally repulsive employment. There're about 200 coutries in the world. If most of them think it repulsive, maybe. What make you think you can use the term "internationally" ? When accuse another country, be more specific and careful.

-1 ( +1 / -3 )

Abe is a righteous man. Abe is just the right man for Japan and for Taiji. Since Abe came to power, lots of Japanese companies are complying with NO-Overtime WITHOUT PAY Policy. I now go home everyday at 5PM.

Japan food supply and Japan natural resources including islands, methane hydrade 3,000 meters deeper under the sea is SAFE WITH ABE.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

I suggest Abe goes to Taiji himself with Kennedy, sees what goes on under the tarpaulin. Then let him "defend" hunting

0 ( +1 / -1 )

kazuaki - "The tyranny of the majority is a real threat is a democratic world. "

That's a bit of a gem - I think you got it backwards though - Majority will is the essence of democracy not a tyranny threat to it, unless you subscribe to some different J -version where the minority dictates the will to majority....oh wait,...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

marcelitoJan. 27, 2014 - 07:16PM JST

Majority will is the essence of democracy not a tyranny threat to it,

Do you know the story about tyranny of majority and bill of rights? Majority can make laws, but the law cannot suppress the right of minority especially if the minority right is written in the bill of rights.

Japanese constitution guarantees freedom of choice of job. If you believe in "common law" or "habitual law", long standing tradition is as good as a law. The long tradition of dolphin hunting makes it a lawful job, and the governor of Wakayama actually issues permit of dolphin hunt every year. Now, do you think majority can prohibit the hunting? Basically, no. They can prohibit the hunt, only if the hunting violates the human right of others.

We are comparing the "animal rights" with human right of freedom of choice of job written in the constitution. The legal conclusion is obvious to anyone.

Bear beating is prohibited because it hurts animals for pleasure. Hunting is a totally different story, and the usual pain at the time of killing is OK. The dolphins live in the wilderness, where strong kill and eat the weak. They kill a lot of fish every day. Who are they to complain when killed by stronger.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Anti-hunt people is not even majority. Majority of Japan support the hunt. And even internationally majority of coutries would not interfere in Japan's domestic issue that's legal.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

As much I do not like Japanese fisheries creaming the oceans, as I do not see any problem with this local tradition of local fishermen.

What is the problem actually?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan is sounding like the boy who cried "wolf". This hunt is not a tradition. It started in 1969. Whale hunting is not a tradition, it only goes as less far back then the west. It goes against Buddhism, one of the main regions in Japan. Probably the methods goes against Shinto. The real problem is that Abe's statements takes away his standing with other statements. In other words, he is loosing ground in the cold war with China. But it's not only him but Japan in general.

-1 ( +1 / -1 )

This hunt is not a tradition. It started in 1969.

If they've been doing it since 1969, it's a tradition. Look up the word in the dictionary.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

ka_chanJan. 28, 2014 - 12:29PM JST

This hunt is not a tradition. It started in 1969.

It has much longer history. Look at these picture scrolls in 1736 drawn in Kumano, Wakayama. Kumano is an area that includes Taiji. http://record.museum.kyushu-u.ac.jp/kujira/1464-3/kujirairuka3.html

The second volume of the same scroll set. http://record.museum.kyushu-u.ac.jp/kujira/1464-2/kujirairuka2.html It says, "A hunter can go into the sea and capture dolphins by holding. They are docile and do not harm hunters." "The meat is red and tasts like whale meat."

It is a tradition at least from 1736.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Whenever this "tradition" allegedly started, it isn`t a tradition to profit from theme parks

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You see Mr Abe... the Ocean and living creatures in it belongs to this Earth, it's not Japan's personal resource alone to do whatever they want with it. The World wants Japan to understand that Ocean must be protected and past abuse must not continue in order to prevent further deterioration. One Nation's tradition and way of life can no longer be allowed to ruin it for the rest of the World. Critics want Japan to understand how important the Ocean is to everyone in this planet as a whole and should not be altered by any one tradition or one way of life.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The Feb. 1 Japan Times' :editorial, "Defend dolphins, not a ‘tradition’," is a good, commendable reading.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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