Whale and Tuna (2)
Since I enjoyed very much discussing with a blogger Japan's whale hunting which has annoyed Anglo-Saxons, I uploaded the discussion as a new article this time. Thanks, Mr.Ballistic. If you don't want it to be open, I'll delete it. See the first article "Whale and Tuna (1)" if you haven't.
Mr. Ballistic:Looks yummy. I too am suspicious about the figures those zealots at greenpeace put out about wildlife populations, a real conflict of interest. However my problems with the hunt are from a more pragmatic approach.
1) Are people really buying whale meat? If the reports about meat consumption are accurate many Japanese have been swayed by the very savvy Greenpeace Media Machine(tm). How many models will parade around Tokyo nude in the name of whale meat? (OH GOD I just had a really BAD vision of a bunch of Jerry Springer Guests doing that.)
I have read the whalers have resorted to making dog food and school lunches out of it.
Deep sea fishing can't be cheap. You the Japanese taxpayer foot the bill if people won't eat it.
2) More importantly those research hunts are the barest pretense for commerical harvesting. 1,000 Minke whales for a survey their behavior? I mean Gallup predicts presidents with smaller statistical samples than this.
Instead of trying to engage an honest (albeit probably futile) attempt to change public opinion they violate the spirt if not the writ of whaling treaties. This kind of chicanery really insults the intelligence of any honest mediator.
This is not at time when Japan can lose brownie points with the International Court of Justice.
Norway and Iceland can afford to ignore the ICJ, how many rogue (and or) nuclear powers are attempting land grabs off their shores? What do you want to bet that when Dokdo/Takeshima comes before the ICJ by 2009 that some Korean lawyer is going to tie Japanese whaling in with this?
For your information crows are Federally Protected Thanks to the wonderful 1972 Ammendment to the Migratory Bird Act. You can't even sell the meat from those feathered rats, though I doubt it would look as good as that dish you have.
yellowpeep:Thanks to acetous comments.
1) I've never heard that the whale meat is about to be used for dog food. They say it tastes iron when eaten as it is, yet the fries or the stew could be amusement. What I can assure you is the demand won't be as high as tuna because of the strange taste.
The rumor of "dog food" may be just a rare case which is taken advantage of because it can be a catchy headline. Or, If they utilize the bones, grind it, and mix it with dog food for calcium, it could be the material for criticizing.
It's important to serve whales to school to teach the culture of whale eating. School people are not obsessed with whales, just once a year or around. Anyway, the demand won't be high enough to endanger the population. We should be more concerned about tuna.
2)Hunting thousands of whales under the name of research sounds weird to me, too. They should comform to the agreement at ICJ or whatever about the number of huntings, and I hope Japan has been adhering.
Korean always do what Japan didn't want them to do, so I don't care. Japan once tried to have an agreement between Korean's dog eating and Japan's whale eating, but they are a kind of people who break a rule and demand something instead.
From my point of view, the protesters' point is not clear and sounds kind of sly. Rarity value, their intelligence, or the cuteness in turn becomes their excuse once one was refuted.
Tokyo prefecture, e.g., has been killing thousands of crows these days and I've heard no objections from Anglo Saxon. Greenpeace should send their butt and beg crows' life at trashboxes (crows scavenge them!). You know your heart won't hurt as much when a crow was killed. So "intelligence of whales" can't be the reason.
Mr. Ballistic: If the economics of whale hunting turn out well, then more power to Japan. I am neither a Logistics or Marine ecology expert. Hunting whales might pay.
What I find disappointing is the real lack of "soft power" over getting whaling legalized. Compared with the deft approach to the Japan Bashing era of 1988-96 in the USA, the Whaling is PR mess. If someone bribes the jury they at least sit through the trial and pretend they are worried about the verdict.
Making bold unilateral steps are part of being a "normal nation" as Akira Chiba would say. Yes the US still ignores the near-universal Kyoto treaty, but then polar ice caps aren't as cute a s whales.
I am just worried about Japan winding up in an Iraq-like scenario where all of the purchased allies pull the rug out from under Japan at the first sign of scandal. Europe and Russia are content to let Iran become a nuclear ICBM nation just to gain vengence on Bush over Iraq.
Japan can't use the ethic angle IMHO. Japan is seen as a wealthy country full of salarymen, cosplayers, samurai and ninjas. Japanese eat eels, squid, pufferfish and all manner of ugly creatures Westerners could care less if extinct. You tell even the most dedicated otaku in the US that you eat cute whales and they would cry.
Westerners' hearts truly melt for starving big-eyed children living in ethnic (read POOR) villages. Japan should best outsource the ethic angle and hire impoverished Inuits South American Indians and Poleynesians. I hear many of those regions such as Tongo has about 90% unemployment. Well fed & wealthy greenpeace activists would be helpless against their "impoverished ethnicness." Considering Japan's financial influence campaign in the S. Pacific they may have already hit upon this.
I must say Japan's diplomat at the IWC is good, Greens describe him in terified awe as if Morishita were Darth Vader.
On another note entirely,
Have you ever tried to link to Japundit.com? It is largely just a bunch of white expats covering a lot of tabloid crap about japan. However the core audience is pro-koizumi Japanophiles who take a narrow view
of some of the events in Korea and China. Defenses of Japan's actions in WWII aren't treated unjustly either. It is fairly high up in the Blog Ecosystem, which would put you very close to where big paper jounalists pay attention. Being a true japanese gives you a credibility factor others writing about Japanese politics lack.
yellowpeep: I've found a recent article from Washingtonpost: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2006/06/01/
As quoted, I nodded a lot about the typical opinions of Japanese: "Why are whales only focused on in this manner? Beef, pork, chicken are all animals; people eat them" and "To be ruled by the cultural preferences of the Anglo-Saxon world would be very difficult."
As well as Anglo-Saxon may feel very doubtful about Japan's ethic, Japan thinks the same way on that of Anglo-Saxon; Westerners had endangered whales for oil until the end of 19th century and it proves that they didn't historicaly cared whales. Their efforts up to now just look full of hypocrisy to us. The reaction a girl showed to you could be a real sympathy, but it may come from a transient ethic not built on thoughtful principles which your grandpa doesn't share.
As you told, I agree that the claim of Japan is not based on its ethic; it's just about food. Eating marine creatures is how we are, not for bragging or curiosity. I hope our activity doesn't look sin of gluttony.
So Japanese want to eat them as part of daily life whether they are rich or not, appreciating the gift from gods.
If someone asks benefit of catching whales for the world, I would say that letting only predetors alive also jeopardizes entire food chain, and this claim seems to have gained a certain understanding with repetitive statistical research. Plus, I'm optimistic about the fact that this controversial issue doesn't develop to a serious damage to the relationship between Anglo-Saxons and Japan. And it surely indicates that Japan became almost as mature as Westerners.
When it comes to other subjects, Japan has been doing well: disarmament and nonproliferation, environmental conservation, etc. Please also keep in mind that an aid in Darfour, Sudan has been supported partly by Japan. You know this aid is obviously not for vote. Japanese are getting more and more cooperative about world concerns although Western would look down on Japan as a geeky and greedy thing. And Japan already know that Anglo-Saxons have keen eyes in terms of entire world affairs, so Japan will follow Anglo-Saxons if Japan found themeselves wrong.
Whale hunting is one of few issues Anglo-Saxons could be defeated on, and because of this they show overreaction from other races' point of view, and it typically characterizes alarmist Anglo-Saxons. Just think of a situation where you are surrounded by six big allied countries whose language is French. How can you insist on your legitimacy with broken French? I'm pretty sure you never feel this loneliness. Japan is always alone.
If you really want Japan to quit whaling, you can still hang on that hope; 15% of Japanese think like yours and they have strongly protested to whale hunting.
After the discussion, I happend to run into a pic of a gravestone for whales in Usuki, Oita, a southern western island of Japan. Those gravestones have been erected since very old time to commemorate the killed whales. According to Japanese shamanism, every creature would curse you if you don't eat it with gratitude because the spirit of the creature then didn't have to be killed and its death is regretful. Requiem prayer after proper usage is thought the only way to let people alive from gods. It's a little bit related to Yasukuni Shrine, and strange Japanese behavioral pattern is sometimes based on their shamanism.
You wanna see the article of Yasukuni Shrine?