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David @ Tokyo

Perspective from Japan on whaling and whale meat, a spot of gourmet news, and monthly updates of whale meat stockpile statistics



IWC 2005: Morishita tells it like it is

"Japan isn't saying it wants to go out and kill as many whales as it pleases. We welcome international supervision. If countries like Australia don't want to eat whales, fine. But they have no right to impose their value judgments on us."
- Joji Morishita, Japanese IWC delegate.

This is what the anti-whaling nations need to come to grips with. Whaling isn't a battle of good versus evil. It's a battle of culture versus culture, borne out in the political arena. Western nations never doubt their belief that their culture is supreme, the most advanced, the best. But when asked about why the recent Western urge to "save the whales" is better than the long standing "eat the whales", what arguments are there? Nothing of substance. For example...
1) "Whales are endangered" is a fallacy. What matters is sustainability. So long as the whales aren't driven to extinction, there is no problem here. And obviously without whales, there would be no whale meat. Everyone agrees that preserving biodiversity is a good thing, the anti-whaling nations just can't understand the principle of sustainable reuse.
2) "Whales are so intelligent, they don't deserve to die" is a nonsense. There is no evidence that whales are much more intelligent than other edible creatures like cows, and even if there was, who ever agreed to the notion that only stupid dumb animals are fit for the dinner plate anyway? Indeed, a very cruel, unfair argument.
3) "Whales communicate with aliens" - admittedly the most sophisticated of the anti-whaling arguments, but again no proof of this other than a Star Trek movie.

"Quitting the body is on the table," Morishita also noted. Indeed, the IWC is a total joke. The anti-whaling nations maintain their signatory status to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, but clearly are totally out of step with it's content. The ICRW not only permits research whaling, which they claim to oppose, but it also states clearly in it's foreword that it's purpose is to aim towards the development of sustainable whaling industries. Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. claim on the one hand to not be interested in this at all, yet don't have the honour to withdraw from the convention. Because they continue to ruin the party at the IWC with this hypocritical, counter-productive, destructive behaviour, Japan will have little choice other than to consider other avenues for persuing the principles stated in the ICRW. If the IWC can no longer perform the role that it was designed for, there is no reason for it to continue to exist. This would be a shame, as Australia and New Zealand could contribute constructively and usefully, if only they had the vision to accept that cultural differences exist, and proceed with discussions in a rational, respectful manner.

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