Monday, June 11, 2007

More on Whaling

I still have sympathy on parts of Japan's position on whaling---that there is room for some harvest of some species and regulated hunting could be allowed (not including humpbacks). However, Japan seems to be on the losing side of this debate and it will become even more of a losing position in the future no matter how much Japan spends trying to buy support.

Japan Focus has an article on this too. I love this example of some of the logic displayed by the negotiators this year, especially when they tried to get Japanese whalers classified as aboriginal subsistence hunters:

“Why is aboriginal whaling allowed in the US but not in Japan,” asked Morishita, a reference to the award of a quota of about 50 fin whales to Alaskan coastal communities. Critics say the key difference is that Japan wants to sell its whale-meat commercially while aboriginal communities cull the animals to survive. The distinction is easily understood elsewhere. But in a country where the media selectively reports the whaling controversy, many people buy Morishita’s claim that the West doesn’t know its sei from its sardines.

The full article is here.

This week has several interesting articles, including one by R. Taggart Murphy who wrote the books, The Weight of the Yen and co-wrote Japan's Policy Trap which were two very good books concerning the Japanese economy and especially relating to Japan's holding of dollar reserves. This article is about the carry trade in which yen increasing becoming the currency used to borrow in, while investments are made in dollars and/or other currency due to Japan's almost nonexistent interest rate and the risks this entails, and why most Japanese outside of the Bank of Japan are not eager to see the rates rise. He discusses why it appears to be in the interests of Japan, China, and the US governments that the current system continue for now. Article here.

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