Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Mottanai!" Is Japan drowned by whaling international objections?

"Mottanai!": "Oh, what a waste!"

Who would not agree as far as environment protection and endangered living creatures are concerned? It's time to change the way we live and produce. I heard this from tens of major speakers (From Lester Brown to Nobel prices, from school kids to major corporation CEOs')

But in this whale, dolphin, sharks, seals thing, the current hypocrisy is to believe that only the Japanese do such depletion of our land and oceans. Others do, look at Korea, China, Russia, Norway... What is wrong is the moratorium capacity to be respected. So, when things do not work, how long time is it needed to adjust?

Now, and although the author here does not and would not agree to eat a single peace of whale meat, dolphin or shark and is heading to more vegetarianism, (oh, what a bizarre word!) the place where Japan could play "a leading role" among the developed and in development world is to practice realism and reduce the mass consumerism. This is what Prime Minister Koizumi (who does not disregard whale meat) had launched under the Mottanai principle" with Wangari Maathai...

Now the thing is not all Japanese media inform correctly their readers. And this is bad bad bad.

"Whether we eat whale meat is our business and nobody else's. And we tend to react with anger when foreign countries tell us we shouldn't eat it. But while refusing to bend to the tactics of Sea Shepherd, we do need to explore a new way of whaling.

Says who? The industry? No the Asahi shimbun!!

Quotes, it is worth 1 year of lectures at Todai:

" Violent acts of harassment must never be condoned, but the victims should not allow themselves to be pushed around and resort to knee-jerk reactions.

After repeated harassment of Japanese whalers by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, the government last week called off a research whaling mission in the Antarctic Ocean.

Sea Shepherd's harassment tactics included bringing their vessels dangerously close to Japanese whalers and hurling bottles of hazardous chemicals at them. The international community must condemn such activities by this radical anti-whaling group.

That said, however, anti-whaling sentiments run high in the governments and societies of the West. Together with other whaling nations, Japan has for years asserted and defended its right to whaling before the International Whaling Commission (IWC), but there is no solution in sight.

The arguments of the opposing camps are fundamentally irreconcilable. The pro-whaling camp asserts that whales are a "utilizable resource," while the anti-whaling camp sees them as "wild animals that need to be protected."

The Japanese government makes a scientifically valid argument when it points out that there are species of "resource whales," such as Antarctic minkes, that whalers are allowed to hunt. However, the prevalent thinking around the world today is that there is no need to hunt and eat those whales just because of their large population."

To end , this mention of other comments as quoted by the SMH I quote here.

"... they differed on whether or how Japan should maintain its whaling program, which it continues using a loophole to a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling that allows lethal "scientific research" on the sea mammals.

The Nikkei business daily supported the whaling scheme and said that "it was regrettable that research was called off as a consequence of violence".

"It is undesirable to respond in a way that could make the international community think Japan would buckle to demands if they were pushed hard against all reason," it said in an editorial.

"Japan should take a firm stand and carry out investigation on repeated piracy acts in order to secure the safety of research whaling in the future," it said.

The liberal Mainichi Shimbun proposed Japan make "a drastic review [of its policy], including the possibility of freezing research whaling.

"Many Japanese people support continuation of research whaling as they are displeased with the idea of ending it due to 'foreign pressure'," the Mainichi said.

"But people are not consuming whale meat much, undermining the significance of continuing research whaling. A change in the Japanese eating habit poses a tougher problem to research whaling than Sea Shepherd," it said.

The conservative Yomiuri Shimbun said: "What causes worry is the possibility that the halt of the mission [this season] may give anti-whaling groups the impression that 'Japan succumbs to obstructions'."

Japan "needs to make a fresh appeal to the international community about the legitimacy of research whaling", it said in an editorial."

Legitimacy of what...?

End of quotes

Reporter's notes