As a politically aware Westerner living in Japan, it has never failed to astound me that such a large (ostensibly) democratic country can have so little honest discussion or public dissent regarding an issue such as whaling.
That two brave local officials recently blew the whistle on toxic dolphin meat being served to children in Taiji (Wakayama Prefecture) goes some way to demonstrate the level of almost sociopathic obsession the Japanese government has in covering up any problems with cetacean consumption.
The government acts as if it is more willing to poison its own children than to allow independent research into the effects of consuming dolphin or whale meat! Whales and dolphins have been proven to have poisonous amounts of mercury in their flesh — an element that, if consumed in constant high doses, will cause brain damage. Perhaps that explains why some officials can consciously make such terrible decisions!
Those Japanese who bother to think about the issue must wonder why foreigners are trying to stop whaling. Well, if it was left to Japan to make a decision, nothing would ever happen, and there would be certainly no whales or dolphins left, just plenty of brain-damaged schoolchildren.
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