Whales, kangaroos and ignorance

Saitama

Regarding Australian Rhonda Grant’s Dec. 25 letter, “Resentment by a new generation“: I would like to add a couple of points. First, the Japanese perceive whales differently — as just another fish — even as they abhor the killing of kangaroos in Australia despite sound environmental reasons for reducing their numbers. There is ignorance in Japan with regard to both of these activities.

Second, “The Cove” (the documentary film about the killing of dolphins at Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture) is now available at rental stores for all to see. While some Japanese feel sad about the annual slaughter, the fact that the film was produced by “foreigners” has allowed the Japan-bashing argument to come into play.

Third, the Australian government would never risk damaging relations with Japan by sending a navy ship [to confront Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean], much as people want it to. It will be up to environmental groups to continue opposing whaling.

Yes, the Japanese government’s misuse [of ¥2.3 billion from an extra budget for tsunami reconstruction to support whaling] is particularly galling. So, in the end, actions speak louder than words.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

christopher glen