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Japan says its whaling is conducted under international accord

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Copycats.

Still, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

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go kiwi!!!

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Japan isn't doing anything illegal; there is no legal action to take.

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way to jump on a bandwagon John Key. Dont just do it because Australia is doing it, if this is what National believes in then they should have had the balls to do it themselves.

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Good to see our Kiwi brothers side by side us on this issue. It may take patience - and I'd prefer a diplomatic solution than dragging it out in court - but there will certainly come a time when no more whales are being slaughtered in our waters. It is inevitable. We may be two little nations compared to Japan, but our voices will be heard around the world - make no mistake about that.

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From a public relations standpoint this is a lose/lose situation for Japan. A spotlight will shine for all the world to see on Japan's "research".

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I can't seem to find this on any of the NZ news websites. That's strange! I'm sure NZ said they would 'support' Australia rather than start legal action of their own.

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From a public relations standpoint this is a lose/lose situation for Japan

Yeah.Why can Japan not see this? Are they really completely blind to the opinions of the world?

Great to see New Zealand supporting Australia even though Brad Haddin knocked the bails off and tried to hide it

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From a public relations standpoint this is a lose/lose situation for >Japan. A spotlight will shine for all the world to see on >Japan's "research".

This adds nothing to the public relations war, what with Aniumal Planet selling eco-terrorists as heroes. Australia, and perhaps NZealand, if this article is correct is going to have a very tough time at the ICJ because Japan is acting entirely within the IWC regulations entirely. The ICJ as with any court isn't going to give a hoot about how wonderful, cuddly or intelligent whales are at all or even how much they suffer. They're going to be looking at whether Japan is acting within the IWC ruyles and whether Australia has any jurisdiction over the Antarctic Territory, something that 4 countries on earth recognize but no one else. Australia should work on getting the IWC to change it's rules in order to freeze or suspend the research hunting instead.

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Threats like these are made because cynical politicians have worked out that 'saving' whales, oddly enough, is one of the few things that unites, and makes Kiwis and Aussies feel something akin to what used to be known as patriotism. In actuality it's a bunch of hatemongers, dragging out the old spectre of 'yellow peril.'

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Why does it seem like Japan is getting singled out? There are other countries that do whaling, but no one messes with them.

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Australia should work on getting the IWC to change it's rules in order to freeze or suspend the research hunting instead

Hi @OssanAmerica As always enjoyed your post.Good in theory but problematic as the IWC is controlled by the power of the Yen.As for PR value anything is good because the average Japanese has very little idea how much this whaling is costing them or how bad for them the whalemeat is

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The weird thing about NZ and Australia telling Japan to quit whaling is that it is none of their business unless NZ and Australia economies/scientific research are both effected by the Japanese whaling on the open sea.

The Japanese people who are anti-whaling should be the one speaking up against those who are in favor of Japanese whaling. The change should come through the Japanese people voicing their opinions to their government. No nation like to have another nation dictate to them what they can and can not do.

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believed to revolve around having Japan end its Antarctic whale hunt while still being allowed to kill minke whales in the north Pacific Ocean.

Yeah, until they have depleated the northern pacific minki population an dthen they'll want to be back.

skipbeat - You are right! The only true solution is for the Japanese people who disagree with whaling to stand against the government. I'd split the population by into three equal parts, those who support whaling 33%, those who are against whaling 33% and those who either don't know or don't care 33%. However, there is one major flaw voicing an opinion in Japan. Have you ever heard the Japanese phrase, "The nail that stands out must be pounded down"? People won't speak out against anything in Japan and those who do are ostricised, so they just bury their heads in the sand and keep saying "shoganai!".

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@Disillusioned, point taken.

The Japanese government should put forth a ratification on whaling if they don't want to have NZ and Australia along with the rest of the industrial nations on their case.

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If pointless diplomacy fails they will try pointless legal action....

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Look at New Zealand jumping on the bandwagon, just following their big brother.

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Have you ever heard the Japanese phrase, "The nail that stands out must be pounded down"?

I suppose this is true, and why Australia and NZ have to take action to stop Japan's out-dated "culture" of whaling in the Antarctic (or is it research? I'm not sure anymore). Even if 75% of Japanese were against whaling, it would mean nothing, because they would do nothing.

Why does it seem like Japan is getting singled out? There are other countries that do whaling, but no one messes with them.

Many reasons. IMHO, it's the fact that no one believes it's required to kill the animals to research them, the fact that per year Japan whales almost as much as all countries combined yet demand for the meat is almost nil, and it's the most publicized BY FAR.

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...per year Japan whales almost as much as all countries combined yet demand for the meat is almost nil, and it's the most publicized BY FAR. If it is true that the demand for whale meat is nil, then where is the profit from taking whales? What is the meat used for after the "research" is completed?

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Look at New Zealand jumping on the bandwagon, just following their big brother.

Not true. NZ is a sovereign nation that makes it's own decisions on policy. Look at their decision in the 80s to ban U.S. nuclear vessels from their country - certainly not jumping on the bandwagon. U.S. Nuclear vessels are still permitted in Australia.

In actuality it's a bunch of hatemongers, dragging out the old spectre of 'yellow peril.'

I love this argument, it's so cute : "You don't aagree with us on whaling? You must be racist then!"

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The whole program is heavily subsidized by the government and it's doubtful there is any profit. As for the meat, locals eat it and it's canned to be consumed by who knows? Humans? Dogs?

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@neverknow2 I found this on the NZ Herald site.It is saying "may" not "will" though

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10627695

@skipbeat Even the "environmental" groups in Japan dare not speak out against whaling for fear of losing precious government funding. Thus Sea Shepherd and NZ and Aussie government actions/publicity are necessary

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Diplomatic negotiations likely will be complete within weeks, McCully said

He probably have never dealt with Japan on Whaling.

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If it is true that the demand for whale meat is nil, then where is the profit from taking whales?

There is none. I, just like every other person living in Japan and paying taxes, am paying for this bloody minded exercise in political obstinacy. There are currently about 4200 tons of surplus whale meat in storage, 'Yushin' the flagship whale restaurant in Tokyo will close in 2010 due to financial problems and the Japanese Government has subsidised the whalers to the tune of about $164 million since 1998. The price of whale meat per kg has dropped from $30/kg in 1994 to $16.40 in 2006. Not a viable industry by any standards.

Look at New Zealand jumping on the bandwagon, just following their big brother.

Anti-whaling nations have a pretty big 'bandwagon' in terms of international support. Whaling nations only have a little red wagon, or should that be a couple of black buses?

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If it is true that the demand for whale meat is nil, then where is the profit from taking whales? What is the meat used for after the "research" is completed?

I said ALMOST nil, not nil.

It's my understanding that whaling is actually costing taxpayers more than what it earns; however, wasteful spending is common. It's also my understanding that the meat is being frozen and stored, occasionally sold at specialty restaurants, and put into school lunches and pet food. I'd presume very old meat is discarded.

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The change should come through the Japanese people voicing their opinions to their government. No nation like to have another nation dictate to them what they can and can not do.

The same lame excuse. Well, they won't, becuase most Japanese are not aware that just last year alone, 71million dollars of their tax money was spent on Whaling. Can anyone in their right mind defend this budget on whaling is reasonable? Couldn't anyone agree that this money could be well spent somewhere else? Only with right information, people can make the right decisions. More people are learning this each year and more people are upset about it. I'm sure Japanese people wouldn't back this up, if they only knew it.

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Funkymofo,

Japanese Government has subsidised the whalers to the tune of about $164 million since 1998.

This is very good information funky, I'm looking for any link that reports the 4200 tons of whale meat storage in Japanese. Do you have a link for this? It would help a lot if anyone can point me to this informaiton.

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Gaijinocchio at 03:07 PM JST - 22nd February

It's my understanding that whaling is actually costing taxpayers more than what it earns; however, wasteful spending is common. It's also my understanding that the meat is being frozen and stored, occasionally sold at specialty restaurants, and put into school lunches and pet food. I'd presume very old meat is discarded.

Very disgusting how they feed "poisoned meat" loaded with mercury to school children...and pets?! Gross! But then again this is a lovely JAPANESE "tradition".. shoganaine!

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"The top government spokesman reiterated Tokyo’s willingness to seek a diplomatic solution to the bilateral dispute, telling a news conference, ‘‘We must make efforts on the diplomatic front until the end to seek understanding, instead of (referring the case to) the court.’‘"

BS! Japan's "diplomatic solution" is always, 'Give us what we want, or we will not agree'; unless it's the Americans they're dealing with, then it's the other way around and Japan has no choice in the matter. You see it with China 'joint history studies', etc.

Regardless, this is getting more international coverage than ever, and now Japan has to internationally defend itself and make excuses. Hirano talks over and over about the 'research', but everyone really knows why Japan is whaling. This kind of see-through crap is what's going to eventually, and thankfully, close the loop-hole.

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Here is the link, Damien. http://www.takepart.com/news/2009/07/14/whaling-industry-buoyed-by-taxpayer-money/

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Just put a limit of 10 whales a year on research per country, that will stop and a win for everyone.

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One day I hope the J whaling fleet sails out to be met by a military fleet charged by the international community to seize and inter the Japanese fleet.

Lock up their boats, put their crews on planes back to Japan and put their officers in lock up.

The day is coming Japan. More and more people are tired of your lies and disregard for international policies.

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Yeah.Why can Japan not see this? Are they really completely blind to the opinions of the world?

1) institutionalized stupidity and stubbornness 2) yes

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OK, Rudd and company, name the international law that Japan has violated. Same for you, tkoind2. How can you bring a country to court without that bit of information? Courts don't make decisions based on fuzzy feelings.

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BS! Japan's "diplomatic solution" is always, 'Give us what we want, or we will not agree';

Very True!! This is what they have been doing in IWC.

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he si right, they are following the law. want them to stop, get the law changed. if anti-whaling is the "majority," it should not be that hard to get support.

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goddog: Who in this thread has ever eaten whale meat?

I have eaten whale 'bacon'. It was actually whale fat with red die on the edges. Nasty stuff. Aside from that, not in ten years in Japan have I ever seen whale meat for sale or spoken with any Japanese person under the age of 40 who has ever eaten whale meat.

southsakai: Does not taste like fish at all

Maybe that's cause it's mammal.

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Kommentator,

OK, Rudd and company, name the international law that Japan has violated. Same for you, tkoind2. How can you bring a country to court without that bit of information? Courts don't make decisions based on fuzzy feelings.

Here is some info on the basis for legal action by Australia.

http://ozelaw.blogspot.com/2006/07/japanese-whaling-in-australian.html

One good turn deserves another, so please tell us about the basis for Japan's continued detention of the Tokyo Two. Here's some help.

The Japanese government breached a series of internationally guaranteed human rights by detaining two Greenpeace activists who had uncovered major corruption in the Japanese whaling program, according to a working group of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

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if there could be a media campaign exposing the 'whale is our culture'spin that some powerful Japanese officials have cunningly used, to show the people their tax dollars are being used for the profit of others,whaling would be dead..right now the japanese people are being treated by their politicians like the proverbial mushroom..

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Does anyone else out there see Japan's present political behavior in the face of western condemnation over whaling as somewhat similiar to it's behavior just prior to December 7th 1941? "You can't tell us what to do! We're Japanese so anything we do is okay! Please step out of our way as we dominate Asia while continuing diplomacy with you."

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Damien15 said, "The same lame excuse. Well, they won't, becuase most Japanese are not aware that just last year alone, 71million dollars of their tax money was spent on Whaling. Can anyone in their right mind defend this budget on whaling is reasonable? Couldn't anyone agree that this money could be well spent somewhere else? Only with right information, people can make the right decisions. More people are learning this each year and more people are upset about it. I'm sure Japanese people wouldn't back this up, if they only knew it."

It is not a lame excuse. Please quote the preceding sentence which talks about the Japanese people who are anti-whaling should speak up along with my comment you quoted. Otherwise, you took my comment out of context. If the Japanese people are educated on the pros and cons on whaling then they can decide for themselves if whaling is right or wrong. The Japanese people can make a difference in government policy.

Yes, no nation like to have another nation tell them what to do just like abortion. Women don't want others to tell them what to do with their body when it comes to abortion.

People can choose whatever they believe to be a noble cause and defend it.

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Actually Japan just likes to eat whale. So what? If you legally get it banned they will stop. If your agenda is the majority, you should be able to ban it.

Until you do, please stop making yourself look silly.

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So I ask for an international law and all you can come up with is a highly dubious Australian law.

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71 Million dollars really isn't that much money....

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Nuckin, I see, very clearly. It's the same people doing same things over again. Just the issue is different.

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The reason I said it will be interesting to see how this plays out, is because I also don't see the international law that Japan has broken. What are Australia and New Zealand going to base their arguments on? Just wondering. Also, I believe that the meat that is left over after doing the research is sold, but I also believe that Japan is required to make use of it in accordance with IWC regulations. Can anyone clarify that?

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seeker1:

Everything about scientific whaling, including use of whale meat, is outlined in Article 8 of the IWC charter, available here: http://iwcoffice.org/commission/convention.htm

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Kommentator I'm giving you information on the legal action by Australia. Those presiding in the case are probably best suited to deciding what's dubious- using a loophole to poach marine mammals in a sanctuary after being told repeatedly to cease and desist by the very organisation whose skirt Japan hides behind to claim 'research' seems like a good place to start.

Any thoughts on the Tokyo Two and their detention after exposing endemic corruption in the whaling program? Perhaps Japan is hoping that the International Court of Justice might be relocated to Tokyo...

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Skip,

Yes, no nation like to have another nation tell them what to do just like abortion. Women don't want others to tell them what to do with their body when it comes to abortion.

You'd agree that abortion is very different topic than whaling though right? The reason other countries have a say on this becuse they are destroying free animals what most other the people love and respect. Whales don't belong to anybody, they are not marine resources, they are fellow beings that we share the earth with. Also, I didn't mean to say you keep on repeating the "culture" argument, just sick of hearing the same thing over and over. It can not be a culture if the meat is rotting in the storage, last whale restaurant is going out of business and noone knows the length J-government is going to increase their frozen stock of whale meat. Other than the fact noone wants to eat it anymore.

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Kommentator: The law Japan is breaking is fraud, doing one thing and saying another. Where is all the research published? No where...

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Kommentator I'm giving you information on the legal action by Australia. Those presiding in the case are probably best suited to deciding what's dubious- using a loophole to poach marine mammals in a sanctuary after being told repeatedly to cease and desist by the very organisation whose skirt Japan hides behind to claim 'research' seems like a good place to start.

I find it amusing that its referred to as a loophole, rather then as the clearly defined and spelled out exception that it really is. The sanctuary of course is nonsense. Its International waters, Japan has as much right to be there as anyone else.

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whaling in japan is pocket money for the politicians,tokyo 2(greenpeace) need a platform to shout this to the uninformed or dont want to be informed public

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71 Million dollars really isn't that much money....

What if it's wasted?

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I find it amusing that its referred to as a loophole, rather then as the clearly defined and spelled out exception

Do you also find it amusing that every year Japan is told that it should stop immediately by the same organisation?

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Anybody know where I can view the results of the Japanese research on whaling, if that is what they are doing? Also details of what they are researching every year?

Cheers

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Wow they are getting worried enough that it is making more and more headlines. Who said extremism doesn't get results. Japanese just need to go home and keep their eating culture to themselves and the world will keep quiet just as they do in about the Artic circle whaling. If Japan leaves the IWC and still goes to the Antartic killing whales there will be an even greater public outcry. Basically this is a lose lose for Japan, hence the "playing victim" strategy.

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kronos:

The ICR website has a substantial amount of material on Japan's research program, datasets, published articles, and so forth. http://www.icrwhale.org/DocumentList.htm

More can also be found at the IWC website.

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What if it's wasted?

How is one government program "waste" and another not?? I would imagine it functions like a government supported business: staff are paid to whale, monitoring is done, whale are killed, the meat is sold on the market. I'm sure it loses money but probably nothing like 71 million. Plus whatever waste there is probably just goes to unneccesary government staff. In effect cutting the program would cause people to lose jobs. I don't think you would get much movement talking about waste...

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"The ICR website has a substantial amount of material on Japan's research program, datasets, published articles, and so forth. http://www.icrwhale.org/DocumentList.htm

More can also be found at the IWC website."

Thanks Hokkaidoguy.

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Also, I didn't mean to say you keep on repeating the "culture" argument, just sick of hearing the same thing over and over. It can not be a culture if the meat is rotting in the storage, last whale restaurant is going out of business and noone knows the length J-government is going to increase their frozen stock of whale meat. Other than the fact noone wants to eat it anymore.

Damn right! Traditional Japanese whaling is a luxury for the rich that is harvested from Japan's own coastal waters using long boats. Not some international expedition sent to an ocean on the otherside of the world to satisfy the childhood nostalgia of the children American collaborators and their American occupiers who instituted this ecological disaster in the first place because they didn't want to give SPAM to their former enemies! There is no words to convey the disgust of the extent of how far Japanese politicans dominated by these whale eating babyboomers will go to preserve a filthy habit introduced by our sworn enemy.

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Junma,

I don't think you would get much movement talking about waste...

Just, how many homeless would have permanent home, if 71million was spent for that purpose? How much food can be generated, how many people can be employed for a business that doesn't destroy the nature, wouldn't piss of rest of the world and can even be profitable. I can volunteer to start this and can give a gurantee that it will be benefitual for all. I know that 71mil figure is correct, because my wife has got that from calling government offices. They did not mention any profit, so I'm sure it's all loss. I think Japanese wouldn't want to waste this much money on something as meaninless for them as whaling.

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The ICR website has a substantial amount of material on Japan's research program, datasets, published articles, and so forth. http://www.icrwhale.org/DocumentList.htm

Japan has enough proof of their research!

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Japan says its whaling is conducted under international accord

Who is Japan? The Japanese I speak to do not even like whale meat nor do they understand why whales are still caught. JT be specific! Then we can have an adult discussion on the ulterior motives of those supporting the hunt.

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Just, how many homeless would have permanent home, if 71million was spent for that purpose?

Who knows? However, something like 75% of any government program actually goes to payroll, so I'm guessing the whaling progam employs maybe 2-3000 people. You would be putting all those people out of work...

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The whaling agency is staffed (at the top) by retired politicians. It has an annual budget. Does not have to make a profit.

Whale meat is on sale at my local (500m distant) fish shop, frequently / usually. It is not popular. Children at school have eaten it once. It is not got rid of in school lunches.

Japanese people may not be against whaling, but for sure they are not pro. Difficult to stand up to - you'd probably be arrested.

Killing whales for research is permitted - that is why Japan uses the "research" lie.

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I'm guessing the whaling progam employs maybe 2-3000 people. You would be putting all those people out of work...

If they want to make themselves useful they can go and work in the old folks' homes where there's a dire shortage of labour.

The retired politicians can go and ....retire?

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Working in old folks homes is women's work, Cleo. Everyone knows that.

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The whales are endangered- not to mention probably extremely intelligent, sensitive creatures. End of story.

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roughneck - Japan has enough proof of their research!

Yeah! Enough to hang themselves.

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One question: if whaling is totally prohibited ,whales will just simply eating all the food of the sea and multiply themselves into greater and greater number every year...then eventually it will reach to the point that there is a serious conflict between food for man and food for whale. What will we do at that time then? Start commercial whaling ? or human just has to eat vegetables, fruits ,no fish?... But that is too far in the future, no need for thinking right now?

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I think that the best solution is to take the case to international court. Diplomatic solution may be "quicker" but what is best: "quicker" or "effective?" I think that Japan wants to avoid international court for the face-saving issue, since it is likely that Japan would lose the case at international court; however diplomatic solution is no longer appropriate. Because of the issues regarding climate change and endangered species (where the number of endangered species and habitats increase over time) it is essential for the planet to address the larger issue of international cooperation to push international needs over national wants. The outcome of this case at international court would be essential in reviewing, reshaping and creating international treaties and conventions for the safeguarding of the biosphere and its resources for the survival of mankind in short and longer term, under the effects of climate change. In contrast, a diplomatic solution would only be a band-aid that might help Japan save face this once, but would be a sterile solution, most likely short-sighted and highly manipulated in terms of politics, propaganda and election campaigning.

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Teachmeteachyou: The whales are endangered- not to mention probably extremely intelligent, sensitive creatures. End of story.

Whales are not endangered.

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You would be putting all those people out of work...

Maybe they can start a profitable whale watching industry? I heard it's thriving multi million $ industry. They'd still be making money on whales. Everyone would be happy!!

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why aren't you barking at Korea and China for eating dogs?

We are, but it is much harder to protest against something that's happening in their soil, for the animal they farm. But surely, there are people signing petitions about that too, just not the topic here.

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if whaling is totally prohibited ,whales will just simply eating all the food of the sea and multiply themselves into greater and greater number every year...

That's one of the thing Japanese "research" is trying to prove, with no success. They said Minke whales eat amazing quantities of small fish, but all the thousands they catch, proved one thing, they eat cryll.

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Dilbert14: That's one of the thing Japanese "research" is trying to prove, with no success. They said Minke whales eat amazing quantities of small fish, but all the thousands they catch, proved one thing, they eat cryll.

So the research is actually happening.

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if whaling is totally prohibited ,whales will just simply eating all the food of the sea and multiply themselves into greater and greater number every year...then eventually it will reach to the point that there is a serious conflict between food for man and food for whale.

You presume that whales aren't controlled by natural events, as was the case before the 19th century, there were plenty of fish in the ocean then. Your argument is the same one whalers use to try and get the greater fishing population to support their wasteful program. Wrong however. It was man over utilising the resource that upset the balance of nature, not nature.

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So the research is actually happening.

Sure, wanna read more about it? http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/oceans/whaling/catching-whales-for-science-is

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before the 19th century, there were plenty of fish in the ocean then

Excellent point Spudman!!

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spudman: You presume that whales aren't controlled by natural events, as was the case before the 19th century, there were plenty of fish in the ocean then. Your argument is the same one whalers use to try and get the greater fishing population to support their wasteful program. Wrong however. It was man over utilising the resource that upset the balance of nature, not nature.

Nature has never put itself in an unbalanced situation? Yea right!

Nature is probably the most feared exterminator.

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Australia should work on getting the IWC to change it's rules in order >to freeze or suspend the research hunting instead "Hi @OssanAmerica As always enjoyed your post.Good in theory but problematic as the IWC is controlled by the power of the Yen.As for PR value anything is good because the average Japanese has very little idea how much this whaling is costing them or how bad for them the whalemeat is"

The old "Japan controls the IWC" is a LAME excuse. You're the one who's always telling me that the ENTIRE WORLD is against whaling. If this is true then it shouldn't be so hard to get the IWC to stop research whaling by whatever means possible. I also disagree 100% on the value of PR. The more PR is thrown about, as evidenced by Sea Shepherd's "media attention" strategy, the more Japan hardens it's position on whaling. Mark my words, if we dropped the PR campaign, if Australia and NZealand stopped supporting the Sea Shepherd eco-terrorists, Japan could be negotiated into staying out of Antarctic waters. Of course if you objective goes beyond that, such as making them stop eating whale, well I don't think ANY outside pressure is going to accomplish that. Especially when it appears to the Japanese that the same people supporting piracy and eco-terrorism are telling them that eating whale isn't good for you. Ridding themselves of Sea Shepherd would give them credibility. Greenpeace is on the right tracl by trying to reduce domestic demand. Once no demand, the whole program will shut down on it's own.

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Great link, Dilbert.

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/oceans/whaling/catching-whales-for-science-is

Pretty much harpoons the idea of 'scientific whaling. I hope anyone who reads this comment board who hasn't completely decided either way on this issue takes a look.

I was particularly interested to see that the Japanese research on mortality has even failed to exclude the possibility that whales are immortal! Classic.

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funkymofo at 04:17 PM JST - 22nd February

Here is some info on the basis for legal action by Australia. http://ozelaw.blogspot.com/2006/07/japanese-whaling-in-australian.html

funkymofo, do you read the articles before you post their links? The article you linked describes how Australian Law can't be enforced in the Antarctic Territory because doing so would undermine Australia's claim. It's a link that the pro-whalers should be posting.

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spudman :human population now is more than 6 billions, before 19 century it was probably 1 billion more or less. Before 19 century, whale population was abundant, but today mankind with more than 6 billions mouths to feed day in day out,the competition for food is too severe. It is human that upset balance of nature but the population just keep increasing and demand for natural resources is only up and up. As I don't know what the solution is ,I will rely on International court of Justice's decision/leadership( I prefer it happens that way ,not the SS way).

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NuckinFutz at 04:28 PM JST - 22nd February Does anyone else out there see Japan's present political behavior in the >face of western condemnation over whaling as somewhat similiar to it's >behavior just prior to December 7th 1941? "You can't tell us what to do! >We're Japanese so anything we do is okay! Please step out of our way as >we dominate Asia while continuing diplomacy with you."

No. Because they're not trying to "dominate" anything and they are 100% on the legal side of IWC regulations. But if they feel ganged-up upon, I agree, especially with Australia and NZealand supporting eco-terrorists that they wuld nevre tolerate if they were conducting similar activities against their own ships. This is what destroys their credibility and weakens their negotiating position.

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In actuality it's a bunch of hatemongers, dragging out the old spectre >of 'yellow peril.' I love this argument, it's so cute : "You don't aagree with us on >whaling? You must be racist then!"

Actually the high number of posts on JT which don't address the whaling issue but merely attack Japan/Japanese in general supports this contention.

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demand for natural resources is only up and up

You're probably not familiar with this issue, but just to inform you and maybe others, Japanese whaling has nothing to do with feeding hungry people. There are 460tons of meat in frozen stocks, last whale restaurant in tokyo went out of business, noone wants it anymore.

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Ossanamerica, I agree with you to an extent, that possibly the Japanese attitude hardens in response to the actions of the Sea Shepherd- nothing new there. However, after 24 years of ignoring international opinion, bad science and disingenuous actions at the IWC, you must admit that Japan has shown no willingness to stop, even when directed to by the IWC. Someone needs to step up the pressure on both the poachers and the governments who sit by, fire off a few platitudes and ultimately sweep the issue under the proverbial rug. The SS cause controversy, and whether you like it or not, their actions have put this issue front and centre internationally. Japan now, regardless of its feelings about the methods of the SS, is being forced to take account of its actions on the world stage- a much bigger problem than the SS I think.

The Southern Ocean - where Japan's whaling takes place - was made into a whale sanctuary in 1994, with only Japan voting against it. Although Japan exempted itself from the ban on commercial hunting of minkes within the sanctuary area, it accepted that the sanctuary applies to fin and humpback whales. It added both these species to its quota for the 2007/2008 season, but ironically hunted neither - dropping the humpbacks after massive international protest, and reporting that no fins could be found during the expedition.

Surely you can see from this evidence alone that Japan has no intention of leaving the Antarctic. It is continually trying to increase quotas and the number of whale species it hunts. Only when people let the poachers know in no uncertain terms they are not welcome do they raise ideas of limiting quotas, making deals etc.

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demand for natural resources is only up and up

and it doesn't take much to calculate that if you keep on taking the natural resources, they will end.

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Nature has never put itself in an unbalanced situation? Yea right!

Nature is probably the most feared exterminator.

my point exactly. no need for asinine arguments blaming whales for dwindling fish stocks.

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One question: if whaling is totally prohibited ,whales will just simply eating >all the food of the sea and multiply themselves into greater and greater number >every year...then eventually it will reach to the point that there is a serious >conflict between food for man and food for whale. What will we do at that time >then? Start commercial whaling ? or human just has to eat vegetables, fruits ,no >fish?... But that is too far in the future, no need for thinking right now?

The oceans were hardly empty a couple of centuries ago before whale hunting went big-time, now were they ? Thing is, whales just don't reproduce very quickly, so even hundreds of thousands of years of unfettered breeding did not put a burden on the oceans biotic capacity.

In any event, while I'm sure Japan havests whales "correctly" insofar as international law is concerned, just because it's legal to do something doesn't mean it's good to do something. With whales, "good" has to do not only with how many there are, but whether it is humane to hunt something proven to be so intelligent. With, say, bluefin tuna, the impact of fishing on the overall population determines what's "good" ... and things aren't looking so good there.

Face it, inside of a century humans have largely used-up what used to be called the "unlimited bounty of the sea". Yes, we all like fish and other seafood, but we've liked it far too much for far too long. I'm afraid that most seafood will be relegated to an expensive delicacy - and most of that will be farm-raised. That's the future, and a future that's not far off either.

Time to retire the whalers ... or at least find them some other kind of jobs. Seems those big ships could be modified for collecting undersea minerals or something ... maybe as cargo carriers ... oil exploration vessels ... tourist trade ........... waste not want not, as the old adage says.

And ... opportunity knocks - for some enterprising Japanese company that invents "Synth-Fish" made by reprocessing/restructuring mostly vegetable protein and oils.

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no need for asinine arguments blaming whales for dwindling fish stocks.

When we were one billion, fishing was limited to coastal waters, and there were planty. When we are 6 billion now, and have gps enabled, fish finding super boats, run by big companies for pure profit, it's not hard to see that fish have no change, the stocks will dwindle before they fall comletely.

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funkymofo, do you read the articles before you post their links? The article you linked describes how Australian Law can't be enforced in the Antarctic Territory because doing so would undermine Australia's claim. It's a link that the pro-whalers should be posting.

The point was to show that this legal area needs to be examined with a view to ending whaling in the Antarctic. As stated in the blog, the legal status is unclear.

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All they really need to do is firm up the definition of "whaling for scientific purposes". If the IWC codified what is and what isn't a scientific purpose for killing a whale, I think government-sponsored whaling would die a quiet death.

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The whales are the real villains here: they are the ones responsible for the depletion of the fish stocks the world over. It is logical and justified that ALL WHALES MUST BE DESTROYED! And then their carcasses should be scientifically studied just to prove how bad they were! As a Japanese person I know told me - "Minke whales are the rats of the sea!"

It is the whales, in fact, who should be taken to the International Court of Justice for crimes against the Maritime Environment.

By the way, Michaelgtodd - yes, you guys are now welcome to join the Commonwealth of New Zealand and Australia - IF you quit whining about the "Brad Haddin incident"! LOL Go the Kiwis!

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Japan in way controls IWC and abides by its policies. I do not support whaling, but Japan is following the law.

Sea Shepherd is violating the law at any chance it gets and proudly admits "If terrorism is the last resort then so be it. A lie is better than honesty to shut down Japan's whaling" Go to their site to read their drivel.

If Australia and New Zealand want this to end then they one, need a diplomatic approach outside of campaign grandstanding. Two, get the other anti-whaling nations to support their "Whale Sanctuary". Three, separate themselves from as far from Sea Shepherd as they can.

Ossan, David, and others take a lot of flack for no reason other than they point out the reality. Japan is conducting this program by IWC policies and UN regulations. Again, I do not support Japan's program but I am literate enough to go to the IWC an ICR websites to read that the Japanese program falls within all relevant treaties and agreements.

If the Australians and New Zealanders want the research program of Japan to end they need a better plan than going to the ICCJ in the Hague, unless they want to be laughed out of Belgium to the flights leaving. Japan is doing nothing illegal.

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Oops, I meant: Japan in no way controls the IWC, and does abide by its policies.

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Fadamor,

The anti-whaling nations believe that science that is useful for sustainable whaling is "unnecessary", especially if it involves lethal methods of data acquisition.

So there is going to be no such agreement about that, I believe.

The best solution will be for Australia to shoot themselves in the foot with this silly legal threat, second best would be for the whaling nations to just ditch the IWC for a New International Whaling Commission or similar body that is actually able to fulfil the management void that has been created by the failure of the IWC in recent decades.

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The funniest anti-whaling propaganda I have seen today is a suggestion that every cent of Japanese ODA is designated in order to arrange for votes to be bought at the IWC.

This is pretty illustrative of the anti-whaling mentality, all sense and perspectibe seems to be thrown out the door.

Whaling is such a small little trivial issue.

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The links:

IWC: http://iwcoffice.org/index.htm

ICR: http://www.icrwhale.org/eng-index.htm

Both clearly show Japan is in no violation of laws or agreements. I know I am going to be flamed mercilessly for this but read the sites and make up your own mind.

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First of all, got to say I think the SS and thier ilk are maritime criminals. I do not condone their actions in any way. With that preamble:

So why does a whale need to be killed "for scientific purposes"? What science is applied to the dead carcass that couldn't be applied to a live specimen? I was going to ask why the IWC was allowing this, but after visiting their site I see that even if EVERY country's representative voted against Japan's study proposals, Japan could STILL issue their "scientific" permits under the 1946 treaty. There is no requirement for Japan to abide by the IWC's decisions.

Japan is killing about 650 Minke whales PER YEAR for these "scientific studies". I find it hard to believe it takes 650 carcasses for Japan to perform: (these are Japan's current justifications for the permits)

monitoring of the Antarctic ecosystem modelling competition among whale species and developing future management objectives elucidation of temporal and spatial changes in stock structure improving the management procedure for Antarctic minke whale stocks

Want me to "elucidate a spatial change in the stock structure"? How about killing off 650 whales a year? I'd say that was a statistically relevant change in the stock structure!

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funkymofo at 10:51 PM JST - 22nd February Ossanamerica, I agree with you to an extent, that possibly the Japanese >attitude hardens in response to the actions of the Sea Shepherd- nothing >new there. However, after 24 years of ignoring international opinion, >bad science and disingenuous actions at the IWC, you must admit that >Japan has shown no willingness to stop, even when directed to by the >IWC.

Firsty are you saying that Japan is the only country capable of "disingenuous actions". If the "Whole world" is against whaling I really don't see why the rules on research whaling can't be amended or suspended at the very least. And I think we boh know that the IWC "directing" Japan to stop is non-binding ie; utterly useless. You can't blame anyone for not abiding by a non-binding instruction.

Someone needs to step up the pressure on both the poachers and the >governments who sit by, fire off a few platitudes and ultimately sweep >the issue under the proverbial rug. The SS cause controversy, and >whether you like it or not, their actions have put this issue front and >centre internationally. Japan now, regardless of its feelings about the >methods of the SS, is being forced to take account of its actions on the >world stage- a much bigger problem than the SS I think.

Outrside pressure merely hardens the Whalers position. Australia and NZealand tacitly supporting SS weakens their credibility and negotiating position. But perhaps the biggest pitfall of all is that IF whaling is eliminated or reduced are we to now accept that unlawful criminal acts of piracy and violence are the correct way to accomplish things in this world? Because if so, we are undermining the very foundation of our human civilization.

The Southern Ocean - where Japan's whaling takes place - was made into a >whale sanctuary in 1994, with only Japan voting against it. Although Japan exempted itself from the ban on commercial hunting of >minkes within the sanctuary area, it accepted that the sanctuary applies >to fin and humpback whales. It added both these species to its quota for >the 2007/2008 season, but ironically hunted neither - dropping the >humpbacks after massive international protest, and reporting that no >fins could be found during the expedition.

Surely you can see from this evidence alone that Japan has no intention >of leaving the Antarctic.

No I don't see that at all. "this right overrides any other Commission regulations including the moratorium and sanctuaries. Article VIII also requires that the animals be utilised once the scientific data have been collected." http://iwcoffice.org/conservation/permits.htm#guidelines

This clearly shows that acording he the IWC rules, research whaling is exempt from recognizing "sanctuaries".

It is continually trying to increase quotas and the number of whale >species it hunts. Only when people let the poachers know in no uncertain >terms they are not welcome do they raise ideas of limiting quotas, >making deals etc.

Again don't see how your quoted text suggests that. All I see is that the research whalers exempted Fin and Humpbacks because of their numbers, as compared to the Minkes, in other words, they REDUCED the number of whale species they hunt. How you interpret that to INCREASED the number of species is a mystery.

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after visiting their site I see that even if EVERY country's representative voted against Japan's study proposals, Japan could STILL issue their "scientific" permits under the 1946 treaty.

Fadamor, yes - that is another fact which clearly illustrates the nonsense of "scientific whaling": Japan, or any nation party to the IWC - is able to Unilaterally issue itself a "scientific permit" to hunt whales.

Look, I would hesitate to call these environmental activists "terrorists/criminals" as many have. At the very least, they are bringing this issue to some public exposure, however dubious some of their methods are. The sad thing is maybe they have to resort to their (at times) vaudeville show tactics to bring this issue to light.

Australia and New Zealand so far - which nation will be next to take Japan to task over this issue? Any takers?

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Dilbert14 at 09:53 PM JST - 22nd February That's one of the thing Japanese "research" is trying to prove, with no >success. They said Minke whales eat amazing quantities of small fish, >but all the thousands they catch, proved one thing, they eat cryll.

GO to: http://www.icrwhale.org/08/s/08-A-01.htm Scroll down to the bottom "Diet Composition Survey". Look at the photos. Tell me if all you see are Krill.

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What science is applied to the dead carcass that couldn't be applied to a live specimen?

Marinading in soy sauce to study how it affects the taste of the flesh. Addition of varying amounts of grated ginger, wasabi, curry powder etc., to study ditto.

Broiling, grilling, baking, sauteeing, deep frying of the flesh to see how the taste compares to the taste of raw flesh aka sashimi.

Salt-preserving of the flesh to see how many kilos will fit into a cardboard box marked 'cardboard' to be sent across the country

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Actually, based on the way the whaling moratorium treaty is written, Japan doesn't HAVE to break it to continue whaling. I suspect if the treaty was re-written to put some teeth into it, Japan would refuse to sign.

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Yes, quite correct Cleo.

Now provide some links that show Japan breaks international law in its whaling program, because that is the issue.

Also, in all Japanese news websites, I failed to find your claim about the "cardboard" issue. Or any foreign news website as well. Care to provide one to back this up? This is all you've been posting about for the week and I can't find a thing about it.

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OssanAmerica, Your rose colourde view of the whalers is the weakest link, goodbye.

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ptolemy; don`t worry mate, it is obvious the Australians have no case. Is that why teh J gove are praying that it can be resolved "diplomatically"?

Excpect the UK gov and possibly the EU be prepeared to join the Aussies and NZ soon according to Sky News.

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Cleo -

You appear to be harping on the fact that the whale meat taken by "Research Whaling" is being consumed. Knowing your dietary preferences from our many exchanges, I am not surprised, of course. However are you aware that any country that conducts Reseach Whaling in accordane with the IWC rules has no choice but to "consume" what's left?

"Article VIII also requires that the animals be utilised once the scientific data have been collected."

http://iwcoffice.org/conservation/permits.htm#guidelines

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stevecpfc at 01:44 AM JST - 23rd February OssanAmerica, Your rose colourde view of the whalers is the weakest >link, goodbye.

I'll take that as a promise. good riddance.

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And the UK, and EU will lose the case right with Australia and New Zealand.

Honestly, I have provided two links that show that Japan is well within the law. And nobody has yet in the last 3 hours to provide any link proving Japan breaks any law.

If all that is necessary is emotions, fine, I will be happy if Japan is forced to stop. The fact is IF the ICCJ takes the case, and that is a big IF, then there is no evidence Japan is breaking the law.

Also, Japan isn't "praying" anything to be solved diplomatically. Okada was already scheduled since December to go to Australia on the trip. It was Rudd who turned it into the dog and pony show the day before he arrived. Rudd is intelligent to know the case is dead, or Okada would have been more willing to settle it. He wasn't, why? There is no case against Japan. It is all about Rudd getting reelected and getting Oz some press.

Again, now that Rudd, et al want it to be legal: Where is the evidence Japan is breaking th law? Ossan already stated articles VI, VII, and VIII of the IWC that show Japan is well within the agreement. If you want the IWC to change policy that is outside the authority of the ICCJ.

Again, Rudd, et al will be laughed into their planes in Belgium without evidence since they made this "legal". More of a humiliation than Obama et al faced in Copenhagen from China.

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Whaling is wrong, and Japan had to learn to live by the international rulebook, whether it likes it or not.

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realist at 02:57 AM JST - 23rd February Whaling is wrong, and Japan had to learn to live by the international >rulebook, whether it likes it or not.

Japan already IS living by the international rulebook. That's why in a realistic sense, court action has very little chance of success.

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I'm not really sure what Australia plans on doing in going to "the International Court of Justice". According to the ICJ's website:

In the exercise of its jurisdiction in contentious cases, the International Court of Justice has to decide, in accordance with international law, disputes of a legal nature that are submitted to it by States.

Somebody want to quote me the INTERNATIONAL LAW that says Japan can't take whales for scientific purposes?

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Triple888 at 04:13 AM JST - 23rd February 2% of world population fishing 80% of world's large fish. What do you >think?

I think someone should have told you whales aren't fish.

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If Australia is unable to show the ICJ that Japan is in breach of IWC regulations, which it is clearly not, they will have to rely on the issue of jurisdiction over the Antarctic waters. However, the following site gives some insight into why Australia has never done, or perhaps never been able to do anything about the Japanese research whaling in waters that Australia Claims. It shows the ineffeciveness in pursuing the matter in an Australian Court, and I don't know what has fundamentality changed (legally) in the last couple of years to make any difference even if the matter is brought to the ICJ.

http://reallyquiteunlikely.blogspot.com/2005_11_01_reallyquiteunlikely_archive.html#113252787330696262

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The today's world will either be stepping forward into an era where conservation and the environment really matter, or it will be stepping back into the Dark Ages, where the people of the world think that the slaughter of whales using grenades, electric lances and shooting them with rifles is something that we should accept. If all nations in the world took 1000 whales each year, the stocks would soon be exhausted. What gives one nation, Japan the right to a larger portion of the resources of the planet that all nations hold in common?

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Since legality failed, intellect failed, SFJP now you are using another tactic?

Since when has there been a completely even share of any of the earths sources among the 200+ nations in the world?

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Wale industry in Japan have become selfish, always wanting more and their capitalism has become the perfect system to promote this wide-spread greed. When is enough enough? For the truly greedy, it never is. Greed is what feeds the atrocities of the mega corporate conglomerates, which have no moral convictions, except the pursuit of profit. In today’s society these corporations have overtaken our government in size and power. The Japanese corporations are exploiting our natural resources by excessive whale hunting. They are leaving behind a pile of destruction where ever they go to expand food production and generally running out of planet to exploit.

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Problems with whaling is mostly that whales are huge animals that reproduce slowly and take a long time to reach their full size and reproductive maturity. In the early 1900s, the increase in whaling was a huge problem. They used to catch 50,000+ whales per year for whale oil and meat, and it's been estimated that around 2 million whales were killed during the early 1900s. Whales cannot survive such high levels of whaling.

It's mostly a conservation issue in that most people would agree we don't really want to drive whale species to extinction. Most countries have now banned whaling to protect whales, but Japan continues to allow it, and often disguises their whaling activities under the umbrella of 'research' when actually they are killing whales for commercial purposes. Also nowadays some of the products whales are caught for are not really essential; things like ambergris (from sperm whale intestines) are used in perfumes, which many (me included) would argue are just a luxury item and certainly not worth driving a species to the brink of extinction over.

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You can take anybody to court but that's no guarantee that you are going to win. The Japanese are correct in that they are not violating any international law. Oz and some others unilaterially declaring a "sanctuary" is not an international agreement any more than the US invading Iraq without UN support was, for example.

The Japanese are also hunting only types of whales that the IWC allows. They aren't going to "drive whale populations to extinction."

The hysteria surrounding the issue would be amusing except for the tactics that the SS are engaged in. SS has simply stiffened Japanese resolve and makes the job for anybody who wants to negotiate a complete halt to whaling that much more difficult.

It would be better if Oz rounded up the SS fools and then put the screws to the Japanese to get back to the negotiating table. That might give Oz the moral high ground. Right now the Aussies just reek of rancid butter and vitriol. Might play well in local elections but it will not stop whaling.

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People have been asking for links, how about these?:

http://www.whales.org.au/news/kempletter.html

http://www.envlaw.com.au/whale24.pdf

http://www.iilj.org/courses/documents/HumaneSocietyvs.Kyodo.pdf

I think there's difficulty in finding illegality in J-whaling because it is indeed a loophole. A big argument is that the whales do not need to be killed for the research Japan is submitting, which NZ and Aus are trying to gather information about.

Also, doesn't whale meat contain an illegal (read toxic) amount of mercury and dozens of other pollutants?

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Although Japan is not violating the international accord, what is the purpose of the whaling. What can they gain from any research on the whales if they are really doing it and who the hell likes the taste of whale meat, it's awful according to my J-wife who had it for lunch in J-schools.

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Fadamor,

I'm impressed, you are asking pretty much the same questions I was asking myself when I first become interested in this issue.

What science is applied to the dead carcass that couldn't be applied to a live specimen?

Some of the data required for the studies are only able to be obtained after killing the whale. As noted on the IWC homepage, one example is that the standard method of aging whales involves counting rings formed within the earplug. Other marine scientists use similar methods for fish stock studies. There are other data as well, this age one is one of the most important, because you can't just look at a living whale and tell how old it is. This age information is used for population modelling, and even scientists based in Australia have contributed to the IWC Scientific Committee's work in this area. Without Japan's recent data from the scientific programme, it wouldn't have been possible.

These studies are ongoing because the population obviously doesn't stop changing. Each year it changes and that's why the research continues.

This is all important for future normalized whaling.

There is no requirement for Japan to abide by the IWC's decisions.

Every IWC nation adhered to the terms of the IWC's convention, so on the contrary, they have all legally agreed with what Japan is doing. Some just choose to disgrace themselves by complaining about it despite themselves.

Japan is killing about 650 Minke whales PER YEAR for these "scientific studies".

They are hoping for a sample of around 850 actually, but this is for statistical reasons. They couldn't just catch 10 and then extrapolate the data reliably. 850 is quite normal for population studies.

monitoring of the Antarctic ecosystem modelling competition among whale species and developing future management objectives

These first two involve stomach contents analysis. The modelling relies upon quantative data, e.g. how much are the whales eating? And qualitative - what.

elucidation of temporal and spatial changes in stock structure

Half of this could be done with non-lethal methods if they can be improved to be reliable enough, but the other part of stock studies currently implies examining physical characteristics which requires lethal studies (you can't measure a whale accurately just by looking at it). Japan's position on this one is that a combination of methods to assign a whale to a stock is the most robust, anti-whaling scientists on the other hand say that genetic information alone is enough and that anything else is unnecessary. It's a question of how rigourous you want to be. Obviously though, anti-whalers are against whales being killed for food or science.

improving the management procedure for Antarctic minke whale stocks

This is where the age information, reproductive rate information etc come in. The IWC Scientific Committee has backed Japan's research in this area on both the two major occassions that it reviewed Japan's programmes.

Want me to "elucidate a spatial change in the stock structure"? How about killing off 650 whales a year? I'd say that was a statistically relevant change in the stock structure!

650 is too small, and it doesn't change the spatial stock structure since the catches are spread over the research area, not concentrated in a single part. The stock structure they are talking about refers to distinct stocks of minke whales in the Antarctic. The Japanese, based on their research believe there are two, not a single stock of minke whales. These stocks are segregated spatially and temporally, e.g. the location where they feed and when they migrate there to do so... It's important for whaling to be able to know the details of this mixing so that regulatory measures can be taken to ensure that catches of whales do not accidentally focus in on one of the stocks and lead to un-intended over-exploitation.

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sfip330,

Japan is not hunting millions of whales now, they are only hunting hundreds and once normal whaling starts again it will still only be a max few thousands.

And it will be done in accordance with a robust, conservative management regime that did not exist in the early 1900's.

And the whalers will have dork anti-whalers stalking them, the regulations will be tight as hell. Individual whales DNA sampled so that the government can confirm that meat on the market is sourced legally etc (Japan, Iceland and Norway are already sharing this information on whales caught under their jurisdictions for that purpose).

So, to talk about this issue as if extinction still has something to do with it is not realistic.

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Gaijinnochio,

A big argument is that the whales do not need to be killed for the research Japan is submitting, which NZ and Aus are trying to gather information about.

Also, doesn't whale meat contain an illegal (read toxic) amount of mercury and dozens of other pollutants?

There is an obvious contradiction there. If the Japanese were't chopping whales up how would anyone know?

As for Antarctic whales, they are pure and clean, less pollutants than pretty much anything you care to shake a fishing hook or harpoon at. The Japanese research is shown so.

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Given that their track record thus far stinks - of lies, exaggeration and macho posturing - the Japanese whaling companies (all underwritten and subsidized by the ever-compliant Japanese tax-payer) need to demonstrate that their "harvests" do NOT pose any threat to whale populations and marine ecosystems. Not the other way round, as currently, where those who advise caution after decades of outright plunder have to try to implement some sense in further exploitation.

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It is not about science. Japan likes to eat whale meat. So what?

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Hawkeye at 07:12 AM JST - 23rd February Although Japan is not violating the international accord, what is the >purpose of the whaling.

Maybe they like to eat whale.

What can they gain from any research on the whales if they are really >doing it

Alot of information that will help in estimating population size, growth, diets, all the normal things that you obtain when you engage in any kind of wildlife management.

and who the hell likes the taste of whale meat,

I had some as sashimi and it was pretty good. Nothing all that different from any red meat.

it's awful according to my J-wife who had it for lunch in J-schools.

I've heard that mostly from older folks. Right after WWII ended GHQ was intending to bring in SPAM (yea the crap in the square can)to deal with the food/protein shortage in post-war Japan. Someone realized that Japan had a very sound whaling industry and whale meat could do the trick. Good thing I guess cause otherwise Japan would have become a country of larda$$es.

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The funniest anti-whaling propaganda I have seen today is a suggestion that every cent of Japanese ODA is designated in order to arrange for votes to be bought at the IWC.

It maynot be so funny after all. Surely it's a stretch to say each penny, but Japan have bribed caribbean nations to vote for them in IWC. They have plans to bribe more.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1MH1yA-ZcM

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It is not about science. Japan likes to eat whale meat. So what?

If that was really the case, if there were too many Japanese demainding for the whale meat, we wouldn't be having this much argument over it. Problem is they don't. Whalers just want to keep their ways and keep on making money. 460tons of meat in frozen stocks and they keep add more to it each year. It's a scam, wasting taxpayers money. 71 millin dollars of it just last year alone.

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Ossan -

You appear to be harping on the fact that the whale meat taken by "Research Whaling" is being consumed. Knowing your dietary preferences from our many exchanges, I am not surprised, of course. However are you aware that any country that conducts Reseach Whaling in accordane with the IWC rules has no choice but to "consume" what's left?

Yes, of course I'm perfectly aware that "any country that conducts Reseach Whaling in accordane with the IWC rules has no choice but to "consume" what's left". If it were true research whaling there would be no argument. The truth however is that the whales are killed and butchered for their meat, and the 'research' carried out is unnecessary make-work the sole purpose of which is to grease the way through the loophole. The intention is to take the meat, not to conduct research.

It's very similar in intent to the schemes the temples in Kyoto dreamed up years ago to get around the tourism tax. Tourists who paid their entrance fee to visit the temples were asked to write out a sutra; that act, the temples claimed, turned their visit into a 'religious' one rather than a sightseeing one. Even if they were foreigners and had no idea of the meaning of the characters they were asked to write.

Following the letter of the law while spitting on its spirit.

If the whalers and those who support them were wooden puppets with a grasshopper friend, their noses would grow every time they repeated their 'but we're doing it for the research' mantra.

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This has been a very enlightening discussion thread, despite the noise thrown up by people who don't want to bothered by facts. Thanks to people like davidattokyo for actually contributing some useful information.

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sfjp330,

Whaling companies ... need to demonstrate that their "harvests" do NOT pose any threat to whale populations and marine ecosystems.

I believe that whaling quotas should not be set by whaling companies in the first place. They should graciously take what is granted to them by an independent, international whaling organization.

The IWC might be an option.

They already have scientific methods of calculating safe and sustainable catch quotas, which were agreed and adopted by the IWC itself in the early 1990's, almost 2 full decades ago now.

But the IWC has never actually implemented these rules in practice, due to the problems of having an anti-whaling nation infested whaling management organization. (Although Norway is using the procedure unilaterally and Iceland may be for setting its quotas too.)

The important point is that the IWC Scientific Committee has developed procedures for setting safe, sustainable (albeit ultra-conservative) catch limits.

I suggest whaling companies be granted allocations of these quotas, and their governments regulate them according to agreed international standards to ensure compliance. E.g., international observers should be present, DNA registers should be maintained to be able to identify illegally sourced whale products on the market.

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Damien15,

Caribbean nations catch whales and small cetaceans themselves, so this seems like it would have a large bearing on whether or not they support whaling. Indeed it would be odd if they were to catch whales and small cetaceans themselves but deny the same of others.

Only the US government does that.

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Damien15,

460tons of meat in frozen stocks

If you check the stats, you'll see that the whale inventory levels fluctuate up and down over time, as inventory would.

It's a scam, wasting taxpayers money. 71 millin dollars of it just last year alone.

If tax is the issue, then the solution is to commercialise it.

Japan has been asking for that, but nations like Australia keep leading a fight to prevent it, for their domestic political reasons.

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cleo,

As usual I disagree with pretty much everything you say so I'll cut it down to one point:

Following the letter of the law while spitting on its spirit.

The moratorium goes against the spirit of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.

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Kommentator,

I have been on a self-imposed hiatus recently, as these "discussions" are often a big waste of time, but it's nice to know you found something interesting in my comments. Thanks!

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davidattokyo at 11:05 AM JST - 23rd February I believe that whaling quotas should not be set by whaling companies in the first place. They should graciously take what is granted to them by an independent, international whaling organization. IWC as option.

Well, who is paying for the cost? The goverment of Japan will demand from the whale companies the requirements and set the rules of the whale quota. Japan whale industry cannot survive on their own without the govenment's help and has no choice. Japan and Norway are giving large subsidies to their whaling industries, which have become unprofitable due to rising costs and declining demand for whale meat. On the economics of whaling shows Japan govenment has spent $164 million supporting its whaling industry since 1988 and Norway's subsidies add up to more than $15 million since 1992. In this time of global economic crisis, the use of valuable tax dollars to prop up what is basically an economically unviable industry is neither strategic, sustainable, nor an appropriate use of limited government funds.

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Boycott Japan over whaling, dont buy any Japanese products. Its the easy way to make them stop. President Ronald Regan imposed sanctions on Japan in 1988 and Japan stopped whaling around America.

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davidattokyo: thank you for being one of the few rational people out there.

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cleo at 10:39 AM JST - 23rd February Yes, of course I'm perfectly aware that "any country that conducts >Reseach Whaling in accordane with the IWC rules has no choice but >to "consume" what's left".

I'm glad we're clear on that.

If it were true research whaling there would be no argument. The truth >however is that the whales are killed and butchered for their meat, and >the 'research' carried out is unnecessary make-work the sole purpose of >which is to grease the way through the loophole. The intention is to >take the meat, not to conduct research.

Well didn't take you long to say something utterly "wrong". I agree the whales are killed and they are indeed dressed and dissected, which you flamboyantly call "butchered". Fine. Be that as it may, you state that the research is unnecessary. This I'm afraid it total hogwash. What the ICR are doing is what we here in the States call "widlife management". The purpose of this is conservation. Conservation is the utilization of various management methods such as culling, restricting taking, limiting numnbers, sizes, species taken, etc and research in the form of accumulated data obtained from both passive methods and invasive methods are used to control ie; "manage" the population. This management can be, and usually is for many species of animals a combination of preserving stocks and maintaining a sustainably harvestable stock as well. Oh and it also happens to be the best method we humans currently have to ensure that a gicen species does not go exinct. This is true conservation. What we normally see from the "animal-rights" crowd is, despite their declared love of animals, not "conservation" but "preservation", an approach that does NOT ensure the survival of any given species. So what does all this have to do with the whales? No one has a more vested interest in ensuring healthy populations and that a given species does NOT become endangered, much less extinct, than those who consume them.

It's very similar in intent to the schemes the temples in Kyoto dreamed >up years ago to get around the tourism tax. Tourists who paid their >entrance fee to visit the temples were asked to write out a sutra; that >act, the temples claimed, turned their visit into a 'religious' one >rather than a sightseeing one. Even if they were foreigners and had no >idea of the meaning of the characters they were asked to write. Following the letter of the law while spitting on its spirit.

Great story. I always suspected those monks were really pretty slick.

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sfjp330,

It's up to individual states to determine how much they tax and how and how much they redistribute in the way of subsidies.

But be it whaling or fishing or farming, from a conservation point of view I don't care how much or little a certain government wants to subsidise their industries, so long as their industries are environmentally sustainable. And sustainable whaling, by definition, is.

My view is that commercial whaling should pay fees to their government for their quotas and those fees be poured back into the regulatory framework within which whaling is to operate. All members of the organization should share their burden of the costs, and those that don't want to contribute can leave or lose their voting rights, etc. This means Australia for example won't have to pay for it, unless they want to remain a voting IWC member.

guest,

This is a discussion board, so I don't think your calls to boycott Japan are appropriate here. Many posters are obviously not even opposed to whaling.

ahocchau,

It is I who should say so!

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OssanAmerica,

Nice summary. If you haven't already heard of it you should check out the IWMC homepage. They are a pro-sustainable use conservation group headed by a former CITES secretariat and you would love them.

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No one has a more vested interest in ensuring healthy populations and that a given species does NOT become endangered, much less extinct, than those who consume them.

Your joking about the Japanese, right? The same consumers that destroyed their own local fish stocks, for example Sardines. Not to mention the worlds Tuna stock. Japan cant be trusted to do the right thing, telling lies about research, while selling the meat.

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Ossan -

the whales are killed and they are indeed dressed and dissected, which you flamboyantly call "butchered".

'flamboyantly'?? lol You've objected before to a spade being called a spade. Can't imagine why a word correctly used would offend your delicate sensibilities so much.

butcher verb [ trans. ] (often be butchered) slaughter or cut up (an animal) for food

That's what they do, Ossan. While they're doing it they apparently also measure the animal and make a collection of ear plugs or whatever it is david thinks is so vital, to provide the excuse they need. If what they do is something you object to so strongly, maybe you're on the wrong side of the fence.

you state that the research is unnecessary

The IWC states that the 'research' is unnecessary.

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We will fight the loonies until the end together!

:) After having these arguments a few (thousand) times I have come to realise that some people simply see the world differently. E.g. some people think that naturally renewable resources ought be "preserved" (= wasted) rather than sustainably utilised as they can be.

So in my experience fighting is kind of futile. My attitude now is that best one can do is say "This is the way it is. Whether you either like it or you don't, you are going to live with it".

This goes for whalers too. There will always be people complaining about whaling, just as there are people complaining about cow farming. Whalers and whale eaters can put up with it just as the cow farmers and eaters do.

What does annoy me is when some types of people knowingly misrepresent reality for the mere sake of making their own argument more presentable. You can put a rebuttal to the same person a few (thousand) times but still they will stick to their misinformation like glue. When you hit people like that is when its futile.

This is also why I think Japan should ditch the IWC and get on with it after this year's meeting in June also ends in failure. I'm sure it will! I can't see the anti-whaling camp jumping into bed with any proposal that does anything that Japan is willing to agree with.

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The IWC states that the 'research' is unnecessary.

Yes... futile...

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"This is the way it is. Whether you either like it or you don't, you are going to live with it".

Oh, you mean "shouganai"!

This is also why I think Japan should ditch the IWC and get on with it after this year's meeting in June also ends in failure.

I think I read somewhere that the LDP was considering this. Can't recall why they didn't (before being ousted by the DPJ) other than the obvious reasons:

simply leaving the IWC would look awful politically, and might open a whole new world in terms of what actions other countries can take. Japan could indeed whale with no quota, but also no loophole for protection.

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Gaijinocchio,

Oh, you mean "shouganai"!

Heh :) Well, not really because the same applies in Iceland and Norway. They feel the same way. There is sustainable whaling, that's it. That's their policy.

I think I read somewhere that the LDP was considering this.

The head of the fisheries agency suggested to the IWC itself that it was an option. Iceland did so in 1991 when the moratorium wasn't lifted, as scheduled.

simply leaving the IWC would look awful politically

That's right, as well as annoy the US. But then the IWC itself is pointless if it is not actually managing whaling like the W in it's name suggests it is supposed to.

So whether much is lost by the IWC imploding is debatable.

Japan could indeed whale with no quota, but also no loophole for protection.

In that scenario I think you'd see Japan and the other whaling nations set up an alternative organization to take up the unfulfilled mandate, as required by UNCLOS (Article 65 or thereabouts I think it was). Those preparations have been going on amongst the whaling nations for a while, they call it the "Safety Net". A whole new convention has been drafted, but then these IWC negotiations have been cooking as well.

This "safety net" organization remains a path that might be taken if this year's IWC meeting turns out to be a big waste of time, once again. (I suspect so.)

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Boycott Japan over whaling, dont buy any Japanese products. Its the easy way to make them stop.

Great idea... except only a few people care about this issue.

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except only a few people care about this issue.

We'll see about how many people care about this issue very soon. Even in 2 channel, times are changing. More and more Japanese started defending whales. Good days are ahead.

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Even in 2 channel, times are changing.

2ch is consistently "pro-whaling" and critical of Australia. Indeed they coined the term "Austkorea" there thanks to Australia's opposition to whaling and tacit support of eco-terrorism.

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lol davidattokyo you are crushing. Thanks for posting and still keep your cool.

When I post I always get overly engaged.

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cleo at 12:53 PM JST - 23rd February you state that the research is unnecessary The IWC states that the 'research' is unnecessary.

The same IWC that permits and thereby gives legality to nations to conduct "Research Whaling" exempting them from moratoriums, sanctuaries and all other regulations which generally apply to Commercial whaling?

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guest at 12:49 PM JST - 23rd February Your joking about the Japanese, right? The same consumers that destroyed >their own local fish stocks, for example Sardines. Not to mention the >worlds Tuna stock. Japan cant be trusted to do the right thing, telling >lies about research, while selling the meat.

First off as much as I'd enjoy getting into you about fish, that's off topic abd the MOD may delete my post. Therefore let me simply suggest to you that you go to the IWC website and read what it says about Scientific Permits. If you did you may realize that; "Japan cant be trusted to do the right thing, telling lies about research, while selling the meat." is an utterly assinine comment as Japan has no choice but to consume the meat because that's what the IWC regulations says anyway.

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Present day research techniques make it completely unnecessary to kill whales in order to learn about their life history and ecology. In addition, all the whale meat collected by Japan is packaged for human consumption on their factory ship the Nisshin Maru while still in the whale sanctuary, indicating that “Research” is not the top priority for this annual hunt. Furthermore, I find Japan’s implication that it is okay to kill whales for Scientific Research potentially damaging to the reputation of science.

However, to remain objective we need to ask, can whaling be done sustainably? The lessons from past whaling may help to shed some light on this. During 1940 – 1960 Australian whalers reduced East Coast Humpback whale numbers to < 5% of their original population in just 14 years. Since the moratorium on whaling this population has recoverd by 10 – 20% per year and is now estimated at ~8000 whales. However, New Zealand and Fiji Humpback populations have shown little or no recovery. The recovery of other species has also been negligible. The antarctic blue whale still sits at only 3% of it pre-whaling numbers.

The sustainability of Japan’s annual hunt on fin whales is doubtful. After the blue whale, fin whales are the largest of the whales and are presently classed as endangered with their population still at only 30% of their pre-whaling numbers. While humpbacks are recovering in some areas, we only need to revisit the past to see how quickly their population can decline. In Australia, humpbacks are still classed as vulnerable under the EPBC Act. An annual hunt on this species is highly questionable. Previous accounts of unreported catches of humpback whales discovered in Japanese and Korean meat markets adds further controversy to the sustainability of the hunt. There is presently much debate as to whether or not it is sustainable to hunt minkes, the smallest of the baleen whales.

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Sea Shepherd’s Operation Waltzing Matilda has been our most successful whale defense campaigns yet. Sea Shepherd expects to prevent the killing of more whales this season than on the previous five campaigns.

http://www.seashepherd.org/news-and-media/news-100223-1.html

I hope they're right.

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sfjp330,

However, to remain objective we need to ask, can whaling be done sustainably?

Yes it can be, if one accepts the science.

The IWC Scientific Committee unanimously agreed and recommended a conservative catch-setting procedure to the IWC in 1992. It was subsequently adopted in 1994 by the IWC (e.g. even the politicians had no choice but to accept it).

This new procedure is extremely conservative and the only populations which can even be considered for harvest are those that have no reasonable chance of being below 54% of their pristine, un-exploited level.

Typical harvest levels would be at most a few percentages per year, normally lower.

Over time, the procedure would see harvested populations maintained at high levels, normally well in excess of 70% of their un-exploited levels.

Under such conditions, it is simply impossible for whaling to cause such over-depletion as that you describe took place when Australian whalers recklessly over-exploited Humpbacks over half a century ago.

The sustainability of Japan’s annual hunt on fin whales is doubtful.

They have barely caught any fin whales at all. To suggest the minor catches (about a handful so far) could lead to severe consequences does not appear to be rational at all.

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davidattokyo, so you are saying Japan did not hunt any, Humpbacks, Blue, or any other large cetacean after 1956? I guess all those boats given to you by the USA were just for show, & not for hunting & killing whales?

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BondiBlue,

I didn't say anything about 1956. So unfortunately I can't understand your comment to be able to reply to it properly.

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I think the majority of people don't eat whale, and therefore support the ban on hunting these species. Apparently this is unanimous, so those nations that continue whaling will remain unpopular.

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I am convinced the criticism of Japan is often racist or ideological in motivation. The first is easily detected, the second is akin to what Israel faced after ditching socialism and growing closer to the United States.

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I am convinced the criticism of Japan is often racist or ideological in motivation.

No one is criticizing Japan. This statement is absurd.

They are criticizing the few people that hunt whales for profit in contravention of the Ban on Whaling and the politicians that protect them. If Japan wasn't selling the whale meat for profit then they probably wouldn't be criticized. A few selfish and greedy Japanese people are embarrassing an entire nation.

From my experience I have found Japan one of the most discriminatory countries on earth, they are "anti-cetaceanites". (p.s. I made that word up!!)

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Anyway, enough of all this empty rhetoric. Take em to court. Get a verdict. Enforce it. Move on everybody.

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Or are you talking about the whalers & their time spent away from any female contact?

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SebastianFlyte at 10:05 AM JST - 26th February I think the majority of people don't eat whale, and therefore support >the ban on hunting these species. Apparently this is unanimous, so those >nations that continue whaling will remain unpopular.

I disagree. If anti-whaling were so overwhelmingly popular as so many anti-whalers state, the IWC would not have made a proposal that effectively brings back commercial whaling for the sake of better control and maintenance over the global whale population.

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They have not bought forward such a proposal OssanAmerica, just as you are aware Japanese delegates have been working behind the scenes trying to bring about a approval of the resumption of commercial whaling, in coastal area's, or to continue their hunt in Antarctica, so therefore once again 'blackmailing' & bribing to get what they want, just like a spoilt little child. Once again the Imperialists trying to do as they please...

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Japan claims its hunts are LEGAL, yet investigations have shown through DNA tests how J-whalers are also slaughtering protected whales, & NOT abiding by any laws or agreements...

http://www.animalliberation.org.au/whalehist.php

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OssanAmerica, a video from your friends GP, & showing the legallity of Japans whaling, & from a group you love & admire the work they do...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4cvpHKLuho&feature=autofb

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& this video from your much beloved GP shows just how quickly & humanely the whaler do their job, & it only takes under a minute, just as you say...

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HttAQRyODm0&feature=related

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BondiBlue at 12:20 AM JST - 28th February They have not bought forward such a proposal OssanAmerica

Sure they have. Try reading the news. "An ad hoc group of the International Whaling Commission suggested Monday that the commission condone commercial whaling for the first time in nearly 30 years in exchange for reducing the number of whales killed each year" http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/22/AR2010022202365.html

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This change, & working at has been done in secret by the Japanese for the last 12months, behind closed doors in the IWC, NOT by the IWC! Once again right up to the fact that all the time, dates, & place for the ongoing meetings before the next IWC meeting in Florida, have been held secret! Despite all other dates being announced! Yet Japan still wants to/is still with holding all details of meetings before hand! Gee, why would they want to hide these meetings? & you have yet to respond to your favorite group, GP, & their video's?

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OssanAmerica, while you are at it you can check out video footage of your much beloved group GP, being unmercisilsy rammed by J-whalers! Just as they did to the AG, overtaking from the port, & cutting across bows! As they say, history repeating itself, yet this history comes long before SSCS entered Antarctic waters...

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& OssanAmerica, if the meetings for this resumption of commercial whaling is a free to public meeting, please pass on the details, dates & times for these meetings, so the public can attend, & the voices of the public can be heard, as is you beliefs & wishes in this great democrasy, & open world we live in...

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Ohh & places, for as I see going through all the IWC releases, they have not released this information, but you have it, so please share it with us all, as you have stated the population of the world is behind you, SSCS are terrorists, so therefore all will join this fight to resume commercial whaling...

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"Australian Anti-Whaling Proposal Criticized

A last-ditch proposal by the Government of Australia to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) will undermine efforts to reform the organization and is likely to bring about its demise, representatives of a group of nations supporting the legitimate sustainable use and conservation of cetaceans said today." "It is disappointing that the Government of Australia is prepared to risk destroying the intensive efforts to return the IWC as an effective international decision-making forum for the conservation and management of whales in favor of a proposal that reflects only their narrow domestic election purposes."

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1002/S00604.htm

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OssanAmerica, that is funny because NZ gov have also stated they will join Aus in legal action if Japan refuses to diplomatic efforts. Yet as history has shown Japan is not interested in diplomacy, only a couple of months ago Japans foreign minister rebuked Aus for its efforts to end whaling in Antarctica, so I see no reason why now the Japanese gov is going to change its stance. So I guess it will end up with more than just Aus taking them to the international court.

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& Ossan, your afore mentioned article is NOT from the NZ gov, it is in fact a press release from pro-whaling countries! Yep sure they are going to agree with Aus taking Japan to court! Gotta do better than that!

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"ICELAND, part of the group trying to negotiate an International Whaling Commission reform package, has accused Australia of "stabbing in the back" the other members by suddenly pushing forward a counter-proposal. "The Australian proposal has no chance of success, so its only objective must be to prevent a solution, prevent a compromise," Tomas Heidar, Iceland's IWC commissioner, said yesterday."

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/iceland-claims-reform-sabotage/story-e6frg6so-1225834926115

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When the innocent masses of the Japanese public finds out about the bloody slaughter of whales and dolphins next Sunday at the Oscars with the nomination of the "The Cove". The tables will turn. The international mirror will freak out the population and the locals will see themselves as the world sees them for what they have become. There will be trouble not from only the "environmental terrorists" but from the millions of wonderful peace loving Japanese citizens who will be ashamed at what has been going on in their good name.

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I think the majority of people don't eat whale, and therefore support the ban on hunting these species.

That logic doesn't make sense. I don't drive a car, but I still support other people being able to drive cars if they like.

hunt whales for profit in contravention of the Ban on Whaling

There is no ban, just a moratorium. A moratorium is when you stop something for a bit, then start it again later.

If Japan wasn't selling the whale meat for profit then they probably wouldn't be criticized.

They aren't making a profit, the Japanese government subsidises the research activities to make up for the shortfall that whale meat sales don't cover.

Anyway, enough of all this empty rhetoric. Take em to court. Get a verdict. Enforce it. Move on everybody.

Agreed with that bit.

investigations have shown through DNA tests how J-whalers are also slaughtering protected whales

The DNA tests are not reliable evidence of that. 1) prove that the DNA study is correct. 2) if you can pass the first test prove that the whale isn't one that was washed up or caught in a fishing net and died. These whales can be legally sold.

This change, & working at has been done in secret by the Japanese for the last 12months

Australia was there too. Is Japan "bribing" Australia too!?

NZ gov have also stated they will join Aus in legal action if Japan refuses to diplomatic efforts.

No they didn't, they only said that they would consider it. Their own IWC rep (Geoff Palmer) has already himself ruled out legal avenues because he too realizes that Japan is legally in the right.

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From UK press today;

"The plan to end the ban imposed in 1986 will be unveiled tomorrow at a Florida meeting of the International ­Whaling Commission.

The draft proposals, dubbed “shameful” by critics, aim to close a loophole that has ­allowed Japan, ­Norway and Iceland to continue to kill 1,900 whales a year.

These include whaling under the guise of scientific research.

The IWC is now seeking to set a cap on the number of whales hunted over a 10-year period but so far has not revealed the quotas.

In return, the IWC would create a South Atlantic whale sanctuary.

But last night conservationists said the deal would merely reward states which have defied the ban"

If you have no problems with others closing these loopholes Ossan as you say, then give us the time & locations of these secret meetings, so the public can voice their disapproval, Or do you & Glenn not want that to happen?

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So once again the 3 nations that disregard the rest of the world secretly set to pass through their wishes, without public knowledge of, or having a chance to oppose. Ohh & apperantly according to Ossan, this is what he believes following the wishes of ALL humans on the globe, so they have the right to do it??? As it is an "ad-hoc" group of nations! Not just pro-whaling ones? & the ONLY pro-whaling nations in the world, but yet he will cry racism when the world disagrees...

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The link to that quote from the press, just to show it is not just Aus, or NZ objecting, & reporting on the illegal activities, but media all around the world, the previous quote was from the UK;

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/161073/The-shameful-deal-set-to-unleash-a-fresh-slaughter-of-whales

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