Blood & Guts


Special To The Japan Times

“Blood & Guts” by Australian journalist Sam Vincent is a behind-the-scenes investigation into whaling and a tale of two countries. Australia is on one side, united in its love of whales and its condemnation of Japan, which has refused to stop killing whales in the Antarctic despite (or perhaps in spite of) global and legal condemnation. Add in the “divine actions” of animal rights activists and it makes for a great story. If only the story were that straightforward.

Blood & Guts, by Sam Vincent.
Black Inc, Nonfiction.

Vincent admits as much in the prologue. Once back on dry land after returning from 3½ months at sea with Sea Shepherd — whose mission is to prevent Japanese boats from killing whales — Vincent struggled to explain the essence of the conflict to his editor. “What this conflict is about is much harder to explain than what it’s not about, because it sure as hell is not about whales,” writes Vincent.

Instead, it is about — among other things — nationalism, symbolism, modernity, racism, hypocrisy, tradition, face saving, history, reality TV, politicking, conservation, vote-getting, cronyism, chauvinism, the cult of personality and the cult of whales. And money. Oh, and it’s also about killing whales for scientific purposes.

The genesis of Vincent’s book grew out of travel writing assignments in Greenland and Iceland. The latter, incidentally, kills more fin whales than Japan does. Norway kills even more, but both nations do so in their own waters, thus avoiding the direct action of activist groups such as Sea Shepherd, and the wrath of Australia through the international courts.

Vincent’s own heritage was also a reason to re-examine whaling.

“I had grown up taking it for granted that whaling was this horrible thing, that it was a black-and-white issue and that all whales were on the verge of extinction,” he says in an interview with The Japan Times. “Perhaps it was more complicated than I had been led to believe.”

What really set the book in motion was a visit to Ayukawa, a port town in Miyagi Prefecture, in 2012. It was one year after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which had — in a matter of hours — managed to do what the environmental movement had failed to do in more than a quarter of a century: nearly kill the town’s whaling industry. “I went there without really knowing what I was doing,” Vincent says. “I envisaged writing a piece for an Australian newspaper and asking locals what they thought about rebuilding the whaling industry after the tsunami, but I found it quite hard to glean much from the locals as an Australian. That made me think there is a book in this, that Australians perhaps underestimate the fact that we are the most vocal critics of whaling.”

Access is what every journalist wants (and needs) and Vincent got it, not through locals in a Japanese fishing town but through Sea Shepherd, a slick media machine, capable of turning a bump with a Japanese whale-hunting trawler into an epic smashup. Access was also granted at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, which ruled in March that Japan was contravening the 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling through its scientific killing program.

In Japan, however, access proved difficult to attain. Vincent’s book features only one interview with a whaler, long since retired — but it wasn’t for want of trying. Vincent was mostly forthright and honest with his interview subjects, admitting to his time aboard Sea Shepherd, but doors stayed closed, lips locked. On one occasion in northern Tohoku, Vincent commits subterfuge, declaring himself Norwegian, in order to engage an employee from the Fisheries Agency.

Still, the lack of access doesn’t detract from the focus of the book: Why does Japan continue whaling and why does Australia care so much about ending the practice? “In Australia there is a lot of energy and interest spent trying to work out why Japan keeps doing this (whaling). What I find more interesting is why Australia cares so much?” Vincent says.

He believes Australians care more about it than Japanese people do — whales unite Australians. They help politicians win votes and referencing them can establish your green credentials. They’re also emblematic of Australia’s selective memory and are part of a wider civilizing narrative — whales used to be hunted but now they must be saved. “After the ICJ issued its ruling in March I was really fascinated by the kind of self-congratulation that ran through Australian society, about saving ‘our whales,'” he says.

And as for Japan, why does its government maintain a whaling fleet when public consumption is at record lows, when it’s clearly a diplomatic thorn in the government’s side, and when most of the world is either baffled or aghast by a loss making tax-funded circus thousands of kilometers from Japan? As more than one Japanese observer puts it to Vincent: Japan isn’t pro-whaling, it’s anti-anti-whaling. And Sea Shepherd has it pinned in.

Vincent is self-deprecating and it’s clear from his many references that this is a book aimed at Australians. However, in light of the dearth of Japanese publications about whaling — especially ones that include arguments from both sides — it would be welcome if a Japanese publisher had the spine to take “Blood & Guts” on board.

  • AnimuX

    In other words, the author purposely chose to ignore the entire history of modern whaling and Japan’s regulatory violations which go back before a Save the Whales movement or Sea Shepherd existed.

    • Carlos Mazal

      Please kindly indicate Japan’s regulatory “violations”.

      • AnimuX

        Historically, Japan’s whalers have killed undersized whales, exceeded quotas, hunted out of season, hunted in prohibited areas, ignored species protections, and (Taiyo fisheries in particular) even hired foreign poachers to kill whales completely without oversight by the IWC and smuggle the illegal meat products to Japanese markets.

      • Carlos Mazal

        I suppose the were reported and proven in the Infractions Committee. If not, it is libelous and hearsay. Or you just like people with blue eyes. Make up your mind.

      • AnimuX

        It’s a matter of recorded history. Since you seem to be fixated on allegations of racism you can learn Japanese and read Isao Kondo’s book. He was involved in Japan’s whaling industry for about 30 years and wrote about some of the violations I’ve mentioned. Japan’s involvement in pirate whaling was also documented – the United Nations Environment Programme publicly recognized an investigator named Nick Carter for his digging up details of pirate whaling and other illegal wildlife trade. And, of course, the World Court has ruled Japan’s ‘research program’ in Antarctica was conducted in breach of treaty obligations under the ICRW. Do yourself a favor and read a book.

      • Carlos Mazal

        Again, there is an Infraction Committee at the IWC and violations need to be reported there and you need to prove it there. No books, UNEP and, much less Nick Carter, can prove anything. Evidence, prove. But since we are on the subject you may want a real boof, written by real scientists and historians about the destruction of whale stocks by Australia, UK, the US and those which now want to redeem themselves although in person, and I do know them, they know Japan is right but can not afford to say ” go ahead ..it is fine with us”. It is political issue. Not scientific.

      • AnimuX

        Wrong. Japan’s whalers have a decades long and well documented history of regulatory violations.

        The great thing about history is you don’t have to take my word for it. Here is some suggested reading material:

        Whaling in Japan: Power, Politics, and Diplomacy by Jun Morikawa.
        Harpoon: Into the Heart of Whaling by Andrew Darby
        The Whale War by David Day
        Men and Whales by Richard Ellis
        The History of Modern Whaling by J.N. Tonnessen and A.O. Johnsen
        The Sounding of the Whale: Science and Cetaceans in the Twentieth Century by D. Graham Burnett

      • Carlos Mazal

        Again, it is selective quotes and not Infractions taken deom books. Hardly any proof. But you know what? like we did in the Inter American Tropical Tuna Commission, there should be international independent observers on board in the future when whaling is resumed.

    • Carlos Mazal

      Sea Shepard is an eco terrorist organization raking in millions for “saving the whales” by violating rules of engagement in the seas. They should be jailed and “Captain” Watson spanked until he tells the truth about his flourishing business.

      • AnimuX

        On the contrary, charity evaluators have repeatedly shown that Sea Shepherd puts the vast majority of its funds into operational expenses — as opposed to administrative overhead like salaries. In fact, those who donate to Sea Shepherd can actually see the results of their generosity.

        ‘Whale Wars’ has documented many Antarctic anti-whaling campaigns and Japan’s own representatives have publicly credited Sea Shepherd’s activists with successfully disrupting Antarctic whaling. Japan’s Antarctic whaling program, JARPAII, has been condemned by the International Court of Justice and ordered to stop because it was conducted in violation of international law.

        Sea Shepherd activists have been shown on camera sailing in ways that certainly don’t adhere to COLOREGs but the same can be said for Japan’s whale poachers.

        Unfortunately, pro-whaling antagonists often attempt to demonize protesters by comparing them to murderous terrorists. These activists do not target people for harm and have never threatened to beat up, kill, or kidnap anybody. In reality, peaceful environmental activists are murdered all over the world just for speaking out.

      • Carlos Mazal

        Sea Shepard is an eco terrorist organization condemned by the IWC itself with arrest warrants in more than one country and they publicly fighting with Greenpeace over who gets money. The NGO In Portoroz disbelief “large; NGOs ( corporation, that is what they are) and they are going for violence methods condemned by the IMO as well. YOu should have heard them…” we do not support violence in any way or SS’s methods such as “disrupting” by force…blah bla blah) The ICJ ruled the sustainable use is legal, that the IWC is a management organization (as well as conservation) but asked Japan to withdraw permits for this season since there were only 2 peer studies. In other words, bring a lower number for the time being, new studies and you may whale. It never said violation of anything or that it is forbidden or that IWC has now become a conservation-only organization. Whaling will continue.

      • AnimuX

        Japan’s government (when it comes to whaling) also called Greenpeace an eco-terrorist organization.

        Also, here is a great quote from the ICJ:

        “The Court concludes that the special permits granted by Japan for the killing, taking and treating of whales in connection with JARPA II are not “for purposes of scientific research” pursuant to Article VIII, paragraph 1, of the Convention.”

        The court ruled (again quoted from the ICJ):

        * “that the special permits granted by Japan in connection with JARPA II do not fall within the provisions of Article VIII, paragraph 1, of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling”

        * “that Japan, by granting special permits to kill, take and treat fin, humpback and Antarctic minke whales in pursuance of JARPA II, has not acted in conformity with its obligations under paragraph 10(e) of the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling”

        * “that Japan has not acted in conformity with its obligations under paragraph 10(d) of the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling in relation to the killing, taking and treating of fin whales in pursuance of JARPA II”

        * “that Japan has not acted in conformity with its obligations under paragraph 7(b) of the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling in relation to the killing, taking and treating of fin whales in the “Southern Ocean Sanctuary” in pursuance of JARPA II”

        * “that Japan shall revoke any extant authorization, permit or licence granted in relation to JARPA II, and refrain from granting any further permits in pursuance of that programme.”

  • kristjan loftsson

    The picture with this article is not from any whaling operation. More likely it is from an Australian slaughterhouse.

    • Carlos Mazal

      I fully agree with Mr. Loftsson. That is not whale blood.

      • Carlos Mazal

        Does anybody care to comment. Been to many slaughter houses and whaling operations. A fake aussie pic? Come on!

  • Ostap Bender

    Pure hypocrisy. Australians kill kangaroos rampantly, beat up Middle Easterners, put asylum seekers in camps, and discriminate against their indigenous population. They value whales over other living creatures.

    • Carlos Mazal

      Yeap, they do. I ate wallabie at the Adelaide IWC meeting. It was served to a group of 50 or more people. These guys eat their national animal symbol and have the guts to critize Japan and other for hunting abundant whale species like minkes (515.000 according to the Scientific Commiittee of IWC). Australia does not really count in real politics and have the racist hatred for Japan with which they do great business. Go figure.

      • Anton Tsykin

        Whales stocks have been practically depleted in Japanese territorial waters which is why they have to hunt whales elsewhere. Wallabies and Kangaroos on the other hand are in most parts of Australia an agricultural pest with an over abundant population, this is because most of their own natural predators were more or less hunted to extinction in the wild during the 19th century. Last night my Mum made Wallaby Bourguignon for dinner and it was beautiful! The night before, my friend’s Mum made Spaghetti Bolognaise with Kangaroo mince, it was delicious. The conservation status for many species of Whale and most species of Marsupial are wildly different and varied and largely incomparable.

      • Carlos Mazal

        Minkes, for that matter, are a plague and will become more so if left unmanaged causing a disruption in the food chain competing for food with other cetaceans and themselves. But eating you cute national symbol? Oh well, I enjoyed it as well and just as the world is tolerant with you eating a cute kangaroo or others eating cute horses and cute baby lamb, or 30 day old piglets and just about everything that moves you should also show tolerance and moderation. BTW, Japan hunts mainly beak whales near its coast and they are abundant. WADA, a village in Chiba prefecture has just had a spot on year and captured 34 whales. Enough and the season as closed.

      • rossdorn

        I have spent about 5 years of my life in Oz, and as much as I love the life there, Ostap Bender is correct in his commentary.
        EVERYONE who has ever been out in the bush and watched the drunken yobos, which make up a large part of the australian population on the backs of their pick-up trucks butchering helpless animals while screaming with joy, will agree with him.

        Some of the comments here come from people who think this is an issue of counting? So, if there are enough, then it is totally right to kill whatever it is for fun, by those on the lowest step of human evolution?

      • blondein_tokyo

        I don’t agree with him because he’s wrong. What he is saying is, “You can’t say killing whales is wrong because you kill kangaroos.” as an argument FOR whaling.
        If anything, it’s an argument AGAINST both hunting whales AND kangaroos.

        Once again: Logic 101, people.

      • rossdorn

        When I read blonde in Tokyo, I always it is goinhg to be funny….

        If you could be bothered to attend a university, that deserves that name, and take Logic 101, you would be taught that there is no logical reason not to kill animals…

        Your absurd and narrow minded self righteousness never ceases to amuse us others… we thank you.

      • blondein_tokyo

        Since you are so interested in logic and reasoning, then let’s examine your reply.

        Right off the bat, we have a petty insult which doesn’t belong in any reasoned discussion by adults. It’s simply puerile.

        Next, a claim – but unfortunately, you provide no backup; and in fact, it’s a claim that is quite easily debunked. You may *disagree* with the myriad of reasons people have given for disagreeing with whaling or hunting, but that does not mean they are not logical. You certainly did not show in any way that anything I said in my reply was illogical.

        In fact, you did not reply to anything in my comment at all, and instead attacked me personally, on an issue that is unrelated to any of the arguments I made. An ad hominem, as you may know, is when the attack is directed against the person rather than their position. You ignored everything I said and directed your entire post at attacking me personally. Generally speaking, people who resort to ad hominem attacks usually do so out of frustration, because they have no argument or else are unable to clearly verbalize it.

        And finally, to finish up, another petty insult.

        I think I covered it. Let me know if you have any questions about my analysis.

      • Carlos Mazal

        You really sound like a blonde in Tokyo. Brainless and serving cocktails. The issue is that I lecture at the School of Science of our National University and I do not have more time to waste with people who are either racists, want to cull humans beings and equate animals ( no matter how you look at them they are animals) and human beings. I like animals a lot. We have a special relation but my love is reserve for humans, our diverse points of view and their well being. If minkes are abundant, take them.

      • blondein_tokyo

        Am I supposed to be impressed with those credentials when you don’t even know how to form a cognizant argument, and instead just throw insults at people?

        You can’t just throw out empty claims like “you are a racist” or “you equate people and animals”. You have to actually have *facts* to back these things up with.

        Stop digging. The hole is only going to get deeper.

    • CC

      Beat up Middle Easterners in Australia lol?

    • blondein_tokyo

      Your analogy fails on several levels. First, kangaroos are not endangered. Whales are.
      Secondly, the way whales are killed is barbaric. Boats chase them until they are exhausted, and then harpoon them with an explosive that literally blows off body parts. It also takes them several hours to finally bleed to death, and die.
      If people started killing kangaroos by chasing them around with a truck, hitting them with spears, and then injuring them with explosives and waiting hours for them to die, you’d have a correct comparison.
      Also? Many of the people who are against whaling are also against other kinds of hunting, including kangaroos. Many of us are also vegetarian or vegan. There’s no hypocrisy there.
      And finally, we yet again see one of the most annoyingly ridiculous logical fallacies: that a person can’t be against two things at the same time, and decry them both.
      I can be against the way asylum seekers are treated, AND be against the way whales are treated *at the same time*, and it does not imply that one is more important than the other.
      I really am so incredibly tired of having to correct that particular fallacy. Could you people PLEASE take at least an elementary level course in logic and critical thinking to save me from having to correct it over and over and over again? Please?

  • Magnus Petersson, Sweden

    It has alot to do with anti-Japanese sentiment in Australia in general, some people just can’t stop crying like little babies over WWII, anything Australians thinks is “bad”, like for example killing and eating a celebrity animal that Australians likes, will create an even bigger outrage if the ones who are doing what they think is “bad” are Japanese. This can be seen with tons and tons and tons of Australian anti-whaling and anti-dolphin slaughter comments in social media DIRECTLY referring to things the former and now non-existent Imperial Japan did in WWII, specificially things that the Imperial Japanese did to Australians.

    For many butthurt Australians who can’t get over WWII, those images will instantly pop up instantly in their little pathetic little thick skulls whenever they hear of modern Japanese people doing something they they dont like, like sustainably killing and eating a celebrity animal like whales or dolphins that Australians wants to see protected only beause of their celebrity status in Australian culture, regardless of the size of the stocks, even if they are not endangered. Or to do anything else that Australians doesn’t like really.

    Some people simply won’t let history stay in the history books and are still to this day butthurt over WWII, sad really.

    Please note that this comment is not targeted against all Australians, but ONLY towards those particular Australians who does not like Japan.

    • Anton Tsykin

      “Butt hurt”, my. arse.

      I can’t say that as an Australian the opposition to whaling has anything to do with anti-japanese sentiment stemming from the second world war, that sort of sentiment is largely confined to an incredibly narrow demographic in Australia which for the most part has little to no political currency or representation however vocal it may be.

      I’m sure that second world war grudges are quite familiar in Sweden as well. Anti-whaling sentiment on the other hand is practically universal amongst Australians. Certainly on the part of the legislative body responsible for SUCCESSFULLY for bringing Japan to the Haigh over it’s whaling policies couldn’t possibly have been guided by an historical prejudice toward the japanese, that sort of tribalism isn’t a remotely legitimate excuse for that sort of international legal action.

      Whaling in Australia has a very long tradition that lasted well into the seventies until environmental protection laws where enacted in order to stop the killing of whales. The generally held consensus in Australia is that the hunting of whales is more or less comparable to the hunting of Dolphins or Primates. As highly self aware, intelligent, social creatures with a broad range of observed social patterns, it would be unethical for them to be slaughtered in the inhumane manner in which they are, in open ocean within view of one another. Hardly a morally sound proposition for the harvesting of Chimps. That is the Australian perspective as subjective as it may be.

      I personally think there is a very genuine reason for their “celebrity” and as a former whaling nation, the excuse that we are ‘pontificating’ on a subject with which we have no legislative or scientific experience is simply false. The fact remains that the whale numbers in Japan’s waters are almost entirely depleted.

      While Japanese whaling fleets do hunt in international waters, for the most part it’s in waters that are sandwiched more or less between our waters along the Antarctic coast and along our mainland, in both areas are filled with marine conservation parks and reserves, by whaling along their peripheries, whaling and fishing fleets are directly violating, damaging and interfering with our own maritime conservation efforts, by whaling along the borders of marine reserves it is still a direct violation of our own environmental protection laws violated in a legal grey area, knowingly, remorselessly and willingly under the patently false pretence of “research”.

      The one constant in these hunts is that they are known to be unscientific, that was decided at The Haigh, not by “sad…butthurt australians”.

      Overall I can’t say I’m in favour of Japan continuing a loss making, highly unpopular industry that directly contravenes Australia’s own environmental protection efforts.

      • Carlos Mazal

        It is The Hague, where the International Court of Justice is located in the Netherlands. Australia’s politicians care about votes so what happens at the IWC is important to them. Not science or the fact that 515.000 minke whales roam the sea and hunting 1000 or even more would not hurt absolutely. Their stand is no whaling whatsoever regardless of the science, abundance or cultural diversity. Problem is they belong to an organization whose purpose is to conserve AND manage whales. To be quite frank, Australia is a 20th rank power whose opinion really don’t carry that much weight anywhere. And, trust me, I really like Australia.

      • Magnus Petersson, Sweden

        Thats speciesm if you ask me. For me, wild animals are equal to other wild animals. As a Swede and Scandinavian, I have always associated whales, as well as dolphins, with meat and food on the plate.

        They don’t hunt any whales here in Sweden (cause there is no whales in the Baltic Sea), but they sure do in our neighbor countries in the North Sea. We have nothing against that and for us its pretty normal as its done in neighboring countries who are the same ethnic group of people as us and speaks the almost same language. Many of us has eaten whale meat as we often go to our neighbor countries where very many of us has relatives. The very center of the whaling industry in Norway, the Lofoten islands, is right next to the Swedish border in Lapland.

        As our neighbor countries on the Atlantic side of the Scandinavian Peninsula hunts whales, many Swedes has tried eaten whale meat, or is at least familiar with the idea of whales as food.

        For us Scandinavians, the idea of whales or any wild animal as some type of human-like individuals, seems absurd. Therefore I side with Japan, who I see is being persecuted for having a difference in food culture, a food culture that I am familiar with. I view minke whales as both something thats beautiful to look at, and also something tasty that you can eat.

        As I am familiar with whales as food, I sympathize with Japan as this is a cultural crash issue more than anyhting else.

        Australia however, did never hunt whales for meat as you killed them for oil only. And therefore its hard for you to associate whales with food on the plates. If there was a whale meat eating culture in Australia all those years and associated whales with meat, I’m sure you would think differently.

        Here its not a big deal. I went over the border to Norway the summer this year and bought some packages of minke whale meat that I cooked and served to my family and relatives here on the southern Baltic coast in Sweden, not anyone of them objected to it and they all agreed it was delicious, as well as exciting, and absolutely something to sure try again next summer.

        This is a cultural issue more than anything else. It has really nothing to do with these animals alleged sentience or intelligence. Its the same with seals and sea lions. They are also celebrity animals and Aussies would react just as hatefully if they heard about seals hunted and eaten, even if seals are not known for being particulary smart.

        Pigs are much smarter than your dog, yet both you and we eat them.

        Whales are celebrity animals in the same way that horses, seals, sea lions are. Thats why those Australians gets so hateful towards Japan for eating something that has the status as a celebrity animal in Australia.

      • Anton Tsykin

        It is without a doubt speciesism.
        That said, most of our coastal indigenous culture have been hunting whales for meat and oil for millennia, in some parts they still do as it is their right to continue with their traditions as they always have in a sustainable self sufficient manner. It is legal, widely tolerated and they have tightly regulated quotas. As far as I’m aware, Scandinavian and North American whaling countries follow similar procedure and NEVER stray out of their own territorial waters.

        Japanese whaling on the other hand is commercial and the size of their quotas corresponds. There is no concern for our own environmental laws with which they directly contravene, they may do it legally but knowingly, indicating an uncommonly callous disregard for our own environmental protection laws. By whaling in waters that are bordered by the coastlines of our five largest cities, the dwindling whale population in those areas is clearly visible for anyone over the age of fifty.

        I’m sorry to use a scandinavian analogy but when Russia decides to dump spent plutonium rods into the baltic as has been doing since the 50’s, the repercussions are immediately felt throughout the region in spite of the fact that it occurs exclusively in international or Russian territorial waters.

        While the science of the effects of whaling may be disputed I doubt that Australia’s peak scientific authorities would reach the conclusion that whaling is harmful in order to spite one of our oldest and closest trading partners.

        Controlled whaling may be considered harmless amongst the nordic countries but I wouldn’t use the precedent of the North sea as a comparable example for describing the conditions in the Southern and Antarctic oceans.

      • Magnus Petersson, Sweden

        Thanks for answering. Yes its true that Scandinavian whaling takes place only inside these nations own waters, the Norwegian whaling industry is based mainly in the regions Lofoten, Svalbard and Finnmark, the minke whales are hunted along the coast very near land and the processing stations are on land, the boats used are common fishing vessels.

        All this being said, the speciest-type protests against Japanese coastal whaling activities such as hunting of beaked whales, dolphins and dall’s porpoises in Japanese coastal waters, are almost just as big as the protets against the activities in the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic. And it is therefore it worries me the angry people might turn on Scandinavia next, they already had on the Faroe Islands

    • Carlos Mazal

      70 years ago or so WW II ended with the results we all know. I personally think that good triunphed over evil, to put it dramatically. Germany and the UK almost annihilated each other and look at them know. The former USSR and Germany. Everybody and Germany. Partners like many others who killed each other in barbaric acts. It takes a lot of guts, sense of reality and common sense to go back to civilized behavior. But they did. But with Japan, Hollywood made a fortune for decades. Except that in every international organization that I have worked or meeting that I have attended they always vote together, except IWC. In private they have different views, pressure from the fundamentalist, fascist NGOs, a world that some are trying to change to give animals “personhood” and a complete lack of ideology. These are people who are disappointed and became cynical about man’s behavior through the news or through mistakes and animals, well, particular mascots, are easy. They do not go to college, do not kills, argue back, they often time are unconditional and make our lives happier, in general terms. So it is easy to deal with them than with human beings. I feel sorry for those people. They do not know the joy of humanity, even of its troubles and have given up for animals. They hate those who disagree, they often do not know what sacrifice entails and the rewards of human company and they miss the best part of all: helping humans.

  • Oliver Mackie

    “Japan isn’t pro-whaling, it’s anti-anti-whaling.”

    Yes, that sums it up perfectly.

  • Sony

    Too hard – boycott them into oblivion

    It’s not hard these days. Japan is already on a precipice – any shove will tip them over. Japanese goods are easily replaced with South Korean (as just one alternative source) and South Koreans do not slaughter whales or murder dolphins.

    • Carlos Mazal

      Doubt it. Australia and Japan have business and partnerships that go way beyond whaling. Nice demonstration of hatred though.

      • Sony

        So if a campaign was run on Facebook – you think Australians won’t care? We could easily find out…

        And yes, people see murdering dolphins the kind of hatred we would all like to see end.

        I would go as far to say that if Australians saw a News report & video clip of a Japanese whaler accidentally slipping on blood and falling overboard only to be met by a white pointer shark which then bit the man in half – the majority would comment… “the guy deserved it!” , “Shark 1 Japan 0”, or “Sea creatures fight back (two thumbs up”.

        All I am saying is competing industries from China, South Korea, Germany, should all use it to damage their Japanese opponents. Why not hurt Japan for its history of violent choices? They are fair sport… hunt them down.

      • Carlos Mazal

        Oh Sony. Mature son. Australia and Japan are developing submarines together. Nobody really cares about what Australia has to say. In the international scene, you are not a 20th rate power power. You vote against Japan for political reasons after almost having hunted ( you don’t murder whales, you hunt them, they are animals) whales almost to extinction.

      • Sony

        Politically; Japan is a vassal. They are being told to rearm and part of that is supply of submarines for Australia. Another part is for Japan to be part of the missile shield. Yes that makes them a primary target but this is their duty. The US also needs more space and larger air bases within Japan and they will build it and pay resources towards it. They are an occupied country because they lost the war – so they don’t have a say. The power is US, & UK, and the commonwealth; Canada, Australia, & New Zealand (The Five Eyes Alliance).

        But from a consumer perspective – none of that matters. No one feels all warm & fuzzy about Japan because they are building up our military. Australians just want Japan to give their lives against China if we need them to.

        Consumers don’t care if Australians kill Kangaroos or Dingos. They only care that Japs are killing dolphins and whales. They feel very strongly about it. Again it is a great opportunity for competitors to use it against Japanese business because it is such a powerfully negative force that can be associated with targeted brands…

      • Konwhiskey

        See, it’s people like you that are the problem. Your fight isn’t about “justice” or “doing the right thing”. Your sole motivation to press on this issue is because of petty revanchism and zero-sumness born out of a deeply entrenched and chauvinistic nationalism that appears to be endemic (to say nothing of it being of epidemic proportions) in Koreans.

        Japan (like any other country, by the way) has its faults and those ought to be rightfully criticized and fought against. But the transparent “tit-for-tat” mentality that seems to guide you will not only ultimately do no good for Japan, but will ensure that some future generation of Japanese return the favor in kind, thereby perpetuating this centuries-old cycle of mutual contempt that seems unbreakable in East Asia.

      • Sony

        Japan is a meal nothing more. Relax and let it go… Don’t be so precious they are not sacred; they are just an animal that has been harpooned by their own policies and practices – mortally wounded and spilling vast amounts of trade on the ground. Its weak diluted yen starved of oxygen.

        Japan is an animal that has always hunted on its own for centuries. Now it is dying. The causes of death are so many – of old age, bad debts, of deep internal corruption, of lack of energy – who cares? Radioactive poisoning is leaking from its open belly into our oceans. The packs will take it down. Let it go.

        I can assure you it isn’t just South Korea, Taiwan, China, and pretty much all of SEA, that is on her blood trail. I can’t think of a single country that does not want to use them before it sinks into the ocean. Why shouldn’t Germany take all the choice industries? Why shouldn’t the US make it continue to pay rent for a stay of execution? It is natural for humans to hunt. Yet you cry out (in a whaling forum) for humans to show compassion for each other? LOL

      • Konwhiskey

        All I can say is that your utterly vile Korean nationalism and revanchism make you no better than the mouth-breathing uyoku dantai that march through Shin-Okubo. The whole lot of you people are unrepentant, bloodthirsty militarists and fascists—and wholly deserving of each other.

      • Oliver Mackie

        Actually, I think you’re putting it a bit too nicely….

      • Carlos Mazal

        I enjoyed the fascist label. It suits many people right here just fine.

      • Sony

        Sweet heart you are getting all riled up over nothing. Now
        you are the one spouting spiteful venom from the top of your head and at the
        same time blowing warm wind from your plump facial cheeks.

        Relax you are going to have a heart attack. Korea, China, Vietnam, India,
        Russia etc… are not exactly known for taking side with ultra right wing
        Fascists… LOL I think you will find the exact opposite. None have invaded
        your little world either…

        Militarists??? Exactly what big bad wolf is coming to eat you? No one is
        invading Japan – why would they?

        All we are asking is – clean up your act. Clean up the radioactive crap you are
        currently disgorging into the neighborhood. This stuff is killing everything
        you imbecilic morons. Is that too much to ask? Take responsibility for your

        Stop defying international laws and slaughtering whales and dolphins. And
        you want your neighbors to talk with you? Stop with the military provocations.

    • Magnus Petersson, Sweden

      Haha good luck with trying to bring down one of the world’s largest economies with a few thousend rabid animal rights activists. And the South Koreans sure do hunt whales, in illegal uncontrolled numbers, tradition in the city of Ulsan.

      • Sony

        We chose not to resume whaling in 2012… So South Korea did the right thing.

        Changing consumers minds is actually quite easy in this case. If a consumer see posters of famous Japanese brands and the association with slaughtered whales & dolphins it will have a very strong negative effect against those brands…

        To give you an idea, more than 1 million complaint mail was registered each week in South Korea when our country considered resuming limited whaling within our territorial waters… Imagine what can be brought to bare against Fujitsu, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Sony, Honda when consumers consider buying these product lead to deaths of animals… Legally there is nothing those brands can do against the spread of such campaigns that are highly viral…

        Those campaigns could receive indirect funding to boost PR / Media reach from companies that publicly oppose such vile acts as whaling – companies such as Hyundai, Samsung, LG, Daiwoo, Kia, and POSCO…

      • Magnus Petersson, Sweden

        South Koreans in Ulsan (or Busan) still kills lots of whales and there is nothing that the authorities does against it.

      • AnimuX

        If the whales are killed as bycatch the government allows the meat to be sold but if poachers are found purposely targeting whales then they’re arrested and brought up on charges. There are examples of arrests in recent years.

        For example, in 2013 Korean police confiscated illegally gained minke whale meat (seized in the bust) and arrested and indicted about a dozen men.

      • Magnus Petersson, Sweden

        And you don’t think people can drown the whales with nets and then call it bycatch?

      • AnimuX

        I am against bycatch whaling for that very reason. I was merely pointing out the fact that whaling is illegal in S. Korea and people are prosecuted when they’re caught killing whales on purpose.

      • Carlos Mazal

        Yeap, they hunt an vote with Japan as China and Russia do.

  • Internet Terracotta Tiger

    Oh, how exciting! Moral superiority from the country that brought us the One Nation white supremacist party and the Tampa Affair!
    As a Canadian I thought we totally had the market cornered on holier-than-thou grandstanding, but I see the proverbial maple syrup is in for a serious Down Under shakedown here. Myself, with respect to Australians doing documentaries in Japan, my vote’s for some guy who did an absolutely fantastic youtube clip on Mr. Donut. The Mr. Donut in Japan guy sounds like the kind of Ozzie everybody likes to meet, though I also appreciated the cheerful characters helping me onto the ski lift back home, not forgetting a very pretty Ozzie girl I met in France a while ago – who seemed a lot more concerned about her country leaving hundreds of people to drown at sea than about some other country preferring whale meat over beef or pork.

  • blondein_tokyo

    Let’s look at Carlos’s argument! :)

    First, like the previous poster, he starts off with a petty insult. Not very nice, Carlos.

    Then he actually does address a couple of the points I made – good work! Only he does it in an extremely condescending and insulting way- uh oh, he looses points for that.

    Then he accuses me of forcing vegetarianism on people – ooops! That’s a false claim, since I clearly have not done that. My only reason for mentioning that I’m a vegetarian was to counter another person’s claim that it’s hypocritical to criticize hunting whales while supporting other kinds of hunting. No mention was made of any reasons for or benefits of not eating meat. Additionally, it does not necessarily follow that being against whaling means one is automatically against eating other kinds of animals. A person who is not vegetarian, for example, can easily make other types of arguments against eating whales. So it seems Carlos is trying to address an argument that wasn’t even made. Minus points, Carlos!

    After that, he throws out a sort of red herring about lettuce (?) that has nothing to do with the rest of the conversation. It seems to be a ploy to get me to change the subject from whales to vegetarianism. It won’t work Carlos! In debate class, we’re taught not to address red herrings. Again, you lose points. Booooo—!!

    Next, he throws out another red herring regarding some other animals that are “not cute” and which “die instantly”. Not only does that have nothing at all to do with the subject under discussion, he point isn’t even very clear. More points lost!

    Finally, he ends with another petty insult. That is pretty par for the course for him, it seems.

    I must also regrettably take points away for multiple spelling errors, i.e., “asutralians” and “nesxt”. Additionally, there are several grammatical errors and problems with syntax, but those can be forgiven since they do not detract from the overall flow.

    Finally, let’s examine his claim that whales are abundant and die quickly and painlessly. While it is true that Minke whale stocks are abundant, humpback stocks are not. As for dying painlessly, this is an obvious untruth, since having an explosive shot into you at a high rate of speed certainly is not painless, nor did he address the point regarding chasing the whales to exhaustion. And finally, it is an untruth to claim that it takes whales mere minutes to die. I also have read up on this, you see!

    So sorry, Carlos! It looks like you’ve lost too many points with your petty insults, red herrings, and false claims. But do come back and play again!

    Or um, actually? Don’t. I really have no interest in dealing with this sort of tripe again. *hitting ignore*

  • Magnus Petersson, Sweden

    Typical racist scumbag, using words like “chinks”, “yellow monkeys” etc, go join the KKK or something.