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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



Democratic Party of Japan's whaling policy

Those of you who follow the shambles that is Japanese politics will be aware that the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) is looking likely to take power in this weekend's national elections here. The incumbent Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has been in office for decades, and looks to be on the way out.

So, will there be any change in whaling policy?

The DPJ's whaling policy from their election manifesto is included here, and below is my translation:
Whaling measures

Regarding whale species that are recognised to have sufficient abundance, promote the resumption of commercial whaling conditional on appropriate management being undertaken.

Also, research whaling is a legitimate right under the 8th Article of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) convention.

There you have it.


Hi David,

It's a good thing that the DPJ included its position on whaling in its manifesto. Strangely, Greenpeace and more recently, Australian minister for Environment Peter Garrett seem to have been placing hopes on that a shift of political power would help them convince Japan to change its position on whaling. They'll probably disappointed when they realize nothing will change on this issue here.

However, when you consider that the DPJ's manifesto refers to article 8 special permits as a right, you may wonder if they have any intention to leave the IWC in case the "IWC's future" process was to fail. I believe that we'll have to wait until the next IWC plenary to know how serious Japan is about it.
So the position remains the same, while we know that the IWC is not mandated to deal/manage small cetaceans I wonder what effect the movie "The Cove " will have on public opinion.

The link for "The Cove"

Generally, business as usual for all sides. Projects like that are usually more "masturbatory" for those who already support the anti movement, and makes virtually no difference to the rest. Public opinion so far has not solved anything, precisely because it has degenerated into a battle of propaganda, which most see through (whichever direction one chooses).
Hi isanatori, given DPJ's high profile claims to want to take more responsibility for policy decision making away from bureaucrats (a good thing), it will be interesting to watch their moves. Whaling is a small issue though so I'm not certain they will be putting a huge focus and effort into it... I don't expect anything unfortunately.

Hi Martin, long time no see. I don't expect The Cove to have a significant impact here in Japan. Given the fact that the people complaining about it come from places where farmed animals are slaughtered on mass, it just comes across as Japan-bashing to most people, I imagine. For that reason I don't expect to see many, if any, theatres seeing any profits to made from trying to find an audience to watch it here.

Hi Baldridge, I pretty much agree with your comment. And indeed I suspect most people in all places really don't care about these issues, as they aren't effected by them in the first place.
Research whaling is right up there with Comfort Women as an idiotic term.

Wether you believe in killing whales and dolphins at least be honest about it.

Whale meat and dolphin meat us contaminated with mercury and other elements not fit for human consumption nor is the "food" required. The Japanese government should neither be subsidizing it or protecting it.
Anonymous: by nature, a presumption of dishonesty is bidirectional. A common irony.
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