Friday, February 16, 2007

Japan Taking the Lead

I have to admit, this is a cheapshot and I am being a bit of a hypocrite about this. I think Japan and other countries can do some whaling within limits without harming the whale population. But what gets me about Japan is when a year or so ago, they could not get all they wanted from the International Whaling Commission so they refused to agree to allow subsistence harvest of a small number of whales by native Inuits in protest. Reminded me of a spoiled 2-year old throwing a temper tantrum. They tried to screw people in the extreme north who do depend on whale hunting, not people who do it as a luxury like the Japanese. The Japanese either throw away most of the whale meat, or process it into pet food. There is no similarity between Japan's whaling and that of the Inuits. But anyway:

Before WW2, Japan could not get its way in the predecessor to the UN, the League of Nations. So Japan quit the League thereby destroying it. (Seems the League was not so understanding about Japan's wonderful intentions for China etc.)

Now Japan, which is insisting on whaling for "scientific" purposes and then being unable to sell the majority of the meat, processing it into pet food, is upset with the IWC since Japan cannot get its way and is threatening to quit. Maybe they should. I think Japan has a point that some whaling (minke) is sustainable and does not pose a threat, the evidence is on their side. It does seem that many supporters of IWC oppose any whaling at all for any purpose and seems to be in line with some of the more extremist so-called environmentalist groups.

However, one still has to wonder why whaling, which benefits so very few in Japan except for the right-wing nutjobs who seem to simply want to insist on it as part of Japan's "unique" culture that the world should accept and embrace simply because it is a traditional Japanese practice.

Tradition excuses everything in Japan. Japanese culture explains everything. It seems there is never an economic or political reason for anything. What other country gets away with this type on nonsense so much and is able to get foreigners to explain away and apologize for them?

(One of Japan's whaling ships, Nisshin Maru, caught fire in the Antarctic yesterday threatening the environment there with oil leaks and other damage, according to Greenpeace---whom one would expect to make that claim. Japan denies it.)

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