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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



Angry Japanese reaction to "whale-safe beer" campaign

Good news - as expected, Japanese interests have not taken too fondly to the "whale-safe beer" campaign, which depicted a Japanese businessman getting harpooned through the back and subsequently electrocuted, in a magnificent display of ignorance of the JARPA II research programme:

JOHN Singleton's anti-whaling crusade may have backfired as Japanese companies – including some of his clients – react in anger to his "whale-safe beer" campaign.

An Australian trade representative in Tokyo last night labelled Singo's anti-Japanese tactics in flogging his Bluetongue beer a "self-serving sideshow" that could harm our $54 billion trade relationship.

Austrade also warned against punishing non-whaling Japanese companies over whaling. Mr Singleton's website urges a boycott on Lion Nathan beers – including Tooheys, Hahn and XXXX – because a large shareholder in the company is Japanese brewer Kirin.

Kirin, which has no connection to Japan's whaling industry, is seething at the attack.

Insiders believe it is little more than an ill-considered get-square with Tooheys, which dumped Mr Singleton's advertising agency Singleton Ogilvy & Mather three years ago.

But it has opened a larger can of worms for Mr Singleton, whose web of business interests includes relationships with powerful Japanese companies.

Russell Tate, of communications group STW – co-owned by Mr Singleton – indicated the beer might not be his mate's smartest campaign.

"Singo's done a few things over the last 20 years that in hindsight might not have been good ideas," Mr Tate said.

Mr Tate is in an awkward spot, with STW's Japanese client list including Sony, Pioneer, Hitachi, Toshiba and Canon.

Behind the scenes the campaign is not seen as a joke – and not just by Kirin.

Canon spokeswoman Roslyn Richardson said: "This approach is not appropriate."

A Toyota spokesman said: "Whaling is an issue for governments not companies unconnected to whaling".

Mr Singleton was unavailable for comment yesterday.

If the man has any brains at all he'll withdraw the commercial and issue an apology.

On my previous post regarding this topic, Y/H-san, one of my regular Japanese readers commented (in Japanese):
I struggle to understand what on earth Australia is thinking.

Although this may be a beer commercial, and they are trying to appeal along the lines of "since the Japanese are harpooning whales, how would Japanese people feel if they were harpooned? stop whaling", for Japanese people the result will be a complete backfire:
- Don't equate whales to humans
- How about you guys shooting kangaroos with guns and eating them?
- This will get connected with racism issues

and so on... I think all that will come out of this is an emotional, bad result. I eat Australian meat, but I really don't need to, I can eat whale meat instead, and there are plenty of other sellers so I won't be put out.

It'll be interesting if this commercial is aired on Japanese TV.

Then things will really get crazy.
After a subsequent comment linking to the video at YouTube, Y/H-san added:
That commercial is grotesque.

What poor taste. I had thought that Aussies were smarter and wiser than this.

Thats... moronic [hope that's how to translate "tako" in this context - David]

I'm recommending my friends not to eat Aussie Beef, and I'd like to spread around what poor taste the Aussies have.

Also I'll be contacting the PM's office and other related areas requesting them to protest to Australia.

Elsewhere, apparently Australia wishes to obtain a free trade agreement with Japan. I wonder who stands to gain the most from the agreement? I think the Government of Japan should leverage this opportunity.

* * *

Other trouble related to Sea Shepherd has seen Ian Campbell defending himself:

"I'm wishing him a safe passage and I'm also reinforcing my message in a one-on-one conversation that respect for law of the sea, respect for human life and respect for the safety of ships at sea is incredibly important," Senator Campbell said.

"People who go around and threaten those important laws and safety measures potentially put the cause of whale conservation backwards.

"Paul Watson and I both share a passionate belief in the view that whaling should come to an end, it should be relegated to the dustbin of history.

"I just wanted to make sure he knew very clearly my view about his tactics."

It wasn't really necessary to "make sure", was it? After all, Campbell did describe Paul Watson as "deranged" last year. And indeed, Watson noticed.

Nice one, Ian.

Labels: , ,


Thank you very much for the nice translation of my view.
Wonderful !

I am terribly disappointed to
see some Ausies supporting the
crazy beer CM.They have to be smarter.

Apart from the issue of whaling,
I believe Au and Japan are the important business partners each other.

Although It is virtually difficult for them to understand Japanese situations on whaling,I will continue to give my views as a pro-whaling citizen.

>Ian Campbell defending himself

As I see,probably Ian wants to be neutral because he knows the importance of domestic opinions as well as that of the business with Japan.

However, he must not give cozy
words to the crazy captain.
What he gains in return is the
laughter from the world.
He should know it.

Alas! I found other crazy Ausies.


What really caught my attention on www.whalesafebeer.com was that Lonely Planet is one of the sponsors of this campaign. Lonely Planet are translating their books into Japanese. This doesn't make much sense to me: don't buy beer from a company that has Japanese shareholders, but feel free to make money on selling books to Japan!? Anyway, don't you think potential Japanese buyers would be interested in knowing that by buying their books, they are supporting a racist campaign against Japanese, and also supporting terrorism against Japanese nationals? As for me, I'll go for Rough Guides from now on.


isanatori and I left some comments on the original english version of that story:


Watson's blog is apparently here:

Nice to hear from you! Good point on Lonely Planet. I hear they are an Australian company, but they ought to know better than supporting a campaign like this. It's one thing to be anti-whaling, but it's another to sponsor beer commercials showing Japanese people getting harpooned through the back with funds going to a group that openly acknowledges it's violent tactics.

Thank you for the info
about the insane group.

Well,the blog gave me
much laughter:the critical comments to GP !

As I am not a native,
some parts are difficult
to understand.
Or,he might make grammatical errors?
If so,he should study English,
before he goes to the Antarctic Ocean.

GP will not go to the Antarctic Ocean? That's good for the peace of the world.

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