• Hobart, Australia


I live in Tasmania and would like to speak against the comments by Japanese fisheries minister Yoshimasa Hayashi that were quoted in the Feb. 28 AFP article “Japan will never stop whaling: fisheries chief.” Here in Australia, we hear that:

There are thousands of tons of whale meat in storage in Japan. So, I gather that it is not such a popular food or cultural dish.

Part of the relief funding after the terrible 3/11 quake-tsunami was diverted to refitting whaling ships. How was that justified?

Not one scientific authority outside of Japan has given credence to Japan’s “scientific whaling program.”

Ships are hunting whales in designated sanctuaries of Australian waters. Does the fisheries minister know how insulting this is to many people? Why does Japan continue to do this?

Japan’s government says whaling is no different from killing kangaroos. Apart from the fact that most Australians hate this practice, too, I beg to differ with this argument. Kangaroos breed at an incredible rate; whales do not. There are many millions of kangaroos, but not so many thousands of whales.

I have tried to understand why the fisheries minister persists with a program that dishonors Japan. Is it stubbornness, corruption, stupidity or just political grandstanding?

The program costs more than it’s worth. I no longer buy Japanese products. In the past year, that has meant not buying a new Japanese car, the best-rated 150 mm telescope in the world plus other smaller products. I am just one person, but I would bet that many other consumers feel the same. How is Japan’s economy?

Japan is a jewel on the planet, but it does not exist in isolation. It must, like all nations — including Australia, for we are also guilty on many fronts — protect the world while it can still support us all.

rom springall
hobart, 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.