Scuttling a chance to end the ill will

Regarding the April 20 AFP-Jiji article “Diet ranks vow to defy ICJ ruling“: It was with considerable satisfaction that I heard of the recent 12-4 ruling by the International Court of Justice in favor of Australia’s lawsuit against Japan’s whaling program.

At last, I thought, it was the end of an issue that has caused considerable animosity toward Japan among many Australians. In addition, Japan could use the excuse of gaiatsu (outside pressure) as a way to save face and end its whaling program — at least in Antarctica. The Japanese government also promised it would abide by the decision.

It was, therefore, with considerable dismay that I heard of the Institute for Cetacean Research’s plan to return to Antarctica at the end of 2015 with a remodeled program. The government said it had “made no decision” on whether to resume Antarctic whaling, but why else is it seeking an injunction against the conservation society Sea Shepherd USA if it doesn’t intend to resume whaling?

Japan stood to gain much good will by dropping its Antarctic program after the ICJ ruling. There was, and still is, the possibility of Japan focusing on coastal whaling instead, which would be closer to its cherished “tradition.” As things stand now, though, Japan risks gaining a considerable amount of ill will in pursuit of its outdated and internationally discredited whaling program in Antarctica.

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.

  • Darryl McGarry

    Are you surprised that honourable samurai bureaucrats and other selfish people in Japan are willing to tell fibs to pursue their own self-interest? Let us see how those free trade agreements play out, as well.