Heed the writing on the wall

Regarding the July 16 article: “World court hearings on Japanese whaling draw to an end“: It has taken awhile for this case to be heard in the Hague, and a ruling isn’t expected before yearend.

I would like to draw attention to Deputy Foreign Minister Koji Tsuruoka’s argument that “the purpose of the whaling is legitimate scientific research to obtain information that might help allow the International Whaling Commission to lift the moratorium on commercial whaling.” Since Japan’s fisheries minister Yoshimasa Hayashi has been quoted as calling criticism of Japan’s whaling practice “a cultural attack,” I have to ask: How does scientific research, in an area of the Antarctic claimed by Australia, constitute Japanese culture? And it appears that if Japan doesn’t get the verdict it wants, it will withdraw from the IWC like a spoiled child.

In the 19th century, slavery ended peacefully in Britain; it ended later in America after much bloodshed. The result was the same — a long-standing tradition was consigned to the wastebasket of history. Japan would do well to follow this precedent.

christopher glen
perth, australia

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.

  • Hiroyuki Masanobu

    Clearly not the brightest spark, this Christopher Glen character.

    Britain and America abolished slavery, therefore Japan should change its culinary habits? The logic is flawless.

    Why did that nonsense even get published? The Japan Times should implement a policy whereby its readership is not subjected to the musings of such developmentally challenged infants as dear Christopher.

  • Sergei Witte

    The United States and Britain abolished slavery… so Japan should abolish slavery too?

    • tomado

      His point is that Slavery could be defended as “culture” (as so much is) rather than on it’s moral merits.

    • L. Wagenseil

      In a way, yes, both slavery and whaling are cruel punishment for no other reasons than money and exploitation.

  • Graham Wells

    There is nothing cultural about a commercial operation conducted so far away from Japan’s coast. By their own statistics, these whaling ventures don’t even make any money.
    In Australia, we respect whales, we want them to continue to breed locally along our coast, and then migrate back to our whale sanctuary.
    Lets hope good sense prevails, and that the whaling in Australian waters ceases.

  • L. Wagenseil

    If it’s a culinary habit, then it isn’t scientific research. In either case, it’s outdated.

  • Monica Gilbert

    Japan goes on and on … and on … about tradition and culture yet I don’t see the Nisshin Maru and their harpy ships’ captains and crew committing seppuku when they are chased out of the Southern Ocean by Sea Shepherd.

    If it’s deemed cultural to sail to the other side of the globe and poach nearly a thousand whales every year in a mandated sanctuary then I’ll eat my hat. Oh sorry, no that’s right, it’s scientific research. Bah!

    If Japan lose when the ruling is handed down, then traditionally they should all fall on their samurai swords but of course they won’t, they’ll just take their marbles and go home, part company with the IWC and sulk!