Logical end to ‘scientific’ whaling

Regarding Rowan Hooper’s Aug. 11 Natural Selections article, “In science terms, Japan has no need at all to kill whales“: I favor the discontinuation of such whaling — not because it’s unlikely that Japan’s claim will be upheld in the International Court of Justice or that Japan’s “commercial” whaling will be construed as the “scientific” type allowed by the International Whaling Commission.

No, the reason I favor discontinuation is simply that most Japanese no longer eat whale meat and will not do so in the future. Years ago, boys and girls ate it as part of school lunch; it was government policy. Now Japan’s whaling activities require a substantial amount of tax money that must be cut as soon as possible. Since the government cannot sell whale meat for profit, stocks of meat have piled up in refrigerated warehouses.

With respect to eating the meat of mammals, the Japanese used to be conservative. It is said that, in prehistoric times, the Japanese ate such meat but that they discontinued the practice after they accepted Buddhism. Even the now-common habit of eating beef and pork is not old. Mutton, horse meat and whale meat are offered only in special restaurants.

Then why don’t the Japanese discontinue whaling? Is it because their national pride has been hurt by the violent anti-whaling campaign in recent years? Or because of a stubborn nature, which prevents them from stopping something once started?

I think that Australians have the best argument for the peaceful discontinuation of Japan’s “scientific” whaling as opposed to an international court battle. Some Australians simply ask the Japanese: Would you rather eat whale meat or watch whales?

tsuyoshi fukuda

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.

  • Murasaki

    People in India do not eat cows because they are scared, so should you be told you cannot eat beef because of the viewpoint of others?

    You have the right to eat what you like, and you would be unhappy being told you cannot eat this or that.
    Well respect the fact that others have the same right, if they want to eat whale beef then people like you have no rights to tell them they cannot!

  • Gene Sasserky

    Whales are not special animals. They are a natural marine resource. Countries that rely on them as a food sopurce traditionally should do so. But it should be done in a sustainable way. In order to determine that sustainability, research does have to be carried out. Jap[an is the only member of the IWC carrying out that task in accordance with IWC rules. The anti-whalers are against all whaling because they think Whales are a holy cow of the sea. They do not want sustainable commercial whaling to ever be revived. Australia has a territorial claim which overlaps Japan’s area of research whaling. The ICJ outcome will undoubtedly fall in Japan’s favor. In South Korea and parts of China dogs are eaten, and slaughtered in an extremely inhumane way, yet the world refrains from telling them tat they should not eat dogs. Personally I am much more emotionally attached to dogs as I had a couple growing up,. But I never had a pet whale.

  • sidewinder

    and Gene, humans were traditionally a source of food for tribes across many parts of the world. Should that be upheld because its tradition? Of Course Not. We live in the modern world now. Japan has no food shortages.

    Perhaps Japan should get through its mountain of frozen whale meat stockpiled before it even sends 1 boat out for more. That is the most bizarre illogical thing about it all. The fact it is subsidized with Tsunami/Earthquake money is even more sickening.