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.

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