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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 2006: Western media's racist underbelly

Western media have been covering the story of the Institute of Cetacean Research's trialling of new harpoons designed to ensure instantaneous (humane) death for the large humpback and fin whales being taken under the JARPA II research permit.

Unfortunately, the editor of the article linked above couldn't help but display his / her racism by showing a picture of a harpoonist with what appears to be a conventional harpoon with the caption: "From the people who brought you Pearl Harbor: Super Harpoon!"

Of course, the Institute of Cetacean Research didn't even exist more than 60 years ago, let alone be involved in WWII.

So why bring it up?

It's Racism. The ICR consists of mainly Japanese scientists and staff. Pearl Harbour was bombed by the Japanese in 1941. By what logic can these two pieces of information be linked? Race is the only commonality.

This does seem to support the theory that the Japanese are targetted for their whaling activities more so than other nations (Norway takes more whales each year than do the Japanese), for what appears to be nothing more than racism - whether it is intentional or otherwise.

Hi David,

I read that article too. I think it is fake. If it was really a Reuters article, the information would have been quoted in many newspapers, but in fact it is only CDNN and another one.

Besides, the photo is one of a Norwegian whaler. You can find it on the website of the High North Alliance.

More, the article says that there are 8 catcher boats in the Japanese whaling fleet. That's not true, there are only 3 of them.

I have read some articles from CDNN before, they use a very "colourful" language when it comes to emotional issues such as whaling. They're nothing more than fanatics.

Hi isanatori, nice to see you again :-)

I don't doubt that the ICR is trialling more powerful harpoons (the first two years of JARPA II have been slated for feasibility studies), and welcome voluntary efforts on their behalf to ensure the kill is as swift as they can possibly manage.

But if the article is indeed from Reuters, they have indeed let their standards slip. It states:
"... after Japan's unilateral decision to break with an international consensus to protect them"

As we know, Japan's issuing of research permits is a right available to any ICRW signatory, and there has never been an "international consensus to protect" whales. The ICRW represents a consensus of nations to conserve whale resources (and that doesn't require protection in many cases).

The racist caption is surely the work of CDNN, and good spotting regarding the photo! I knew I'd seen it before but figured it had probably been when I had seen an older ICR picture.
The only other instance of the article I can find is at:

Seems to be independantly written by Jonathan Leake and Julian Ryall.
Johnathan Leake writes a lot of science articles for the Times.

Julian Ryall lives in Tokyo (I think). I think he mainly works for the Telegraph. I think he was a staff writer for the Japan Times.

CDNN may have found the article through a Reuters feed of stories, rather than a Reuters published story.
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