Japan harms its own case by harping on about spurious cultural traditions (as some of the comments note, the whaling doesn't happen anywhere near Japan) and the "scientific research" aspect of its whaling. On the other hand, there are plenty of minke whales, so they aren't an endangered species and there is no obvious reason why they shouldn't be hunted. This assumes there's demand for the meat, which is a bit of a problem in both Norway and Japan, it seems. If nobody wants it, I can't see much point in just hunting them for the hell of it.
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The way I read the article, the child was being held by his mother as his elder brother played in the river. The child then dropped from his mother's hold straight into the river, and was carried away by the current. No need for any crawling, I think. The mother was of course stupid but I don't think there's any suggestion of murder or anything here.
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This article is a bit silly, and so are a lot of the comments. Japan's population is shrinking, and will continue to do so, so it's GDP is quite likely to shrink too. Luxembourg's economy, or Norway's, are tiny compared with Japan or China, but it doesn't mean they're not rich.
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Japan's barriers to agricultural products are well-known, but the article refers to barriers in the auto and insurance markets, not to agriculture. I'd be interested to know what the barriers referred to actually are. For autos in particular I can't see any.
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