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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



Whale meat in high demand in Onagawa

Y/H-san kindly pointed me in the direction of a Japanese language news item, again providing evidence of demand for whale meat in Japan. Here is a translation:
Whale meat distribution: Up to 3 kilograms of red meat at 6,000 yen per household, residents form long queues - Onagawa / Miyagi

Onagawa's "whale meat distribution" began on the 23rd, with frozen red meat of minke whales taken in research whaling sold at bargain prices.

In response to the IWC's blanket ban on commercial whaling, the town has been acquiring several tonnes of red meat and blubber for the distribution via the Japanese Institute of Cetacean Research since 1995 .

Each household is limited to 3 kilograms of red meat (6,000 yen). This price is more than 50% below market prices, and this year again half of the households in the town, approximately 2,000 took up the offer. Long lines formed at each distribution point.

10/24 morning edition (Mainichi Shimbun)
Onagawa in Miyagi prefecture is home to one of Japan's historical whaling communities (Ayukawa), which is probably how they manage to qualify for this sweet deal through the ICR. The wholesale price of red meat is just slightly below 2,000 yen a kilogram, so the residents of the town are basically getting it at the wholesale price determined by the government. In general markets the price tends to be significantly higher due to retailer mark-ups.

2,000 households at 3 kilograms each is of course just 6 tonnes of meat. I understand similar distributions are offered in other traditional whaling regions, although the vast majority of meat is still put on to the general market.

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Thank you for your nice translating.


I believe the whale meat is liked by many people if it is reasonable price.

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