Apathy a hopeful sign for whales

Regarding Rowan Hooper’s Dec. 9 Natural Selections column, “World still waits for Japan to stop being apathetic about whaling“: I’m surprised Hooper didn’t mention the whaling lobby in the Diet, who pressed whalers to go out this year. Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research didn’t want to strain its assets; it would have preferred to dry-dock the mother ship until next year. Politicians’ pride is sending men to risk their lives in the Antarctic again.

I also question Hooper’s speculation that the 54.7 percent of respondents to an October survey who had “no opinion” on whether Japan should continue hunting whales might have been “merely refraining from being the nails that stick out.”

I’m more inclined to suspect that they just couldn’t give a damn. But being apathetic about whaling should probably be interpreted as a good sign, as it wasn’t so long ago that they were gung-ho!

simon varnam
fujinomiya, shizuoka

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.