Following its withdrawal from the International Whaling Committee (IWC), Japan started having an active commercial whaling industry again starting in July, but only within the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
While they are free to believe that “all whales” should be protected, perhaps what they are actually trying to protect is the fantasy of the symbolic wild animal. If they genuinely intend to protect “endangered species,” then the actions required to do so do not involve a ban on whaling. Science is meant to be utilized to solve real-life problems, not fantasies.
On the surface, the indigenous peoples of Alaska continue to engage in whaling activities without any problems. But in actuality, I believe they face many real problems. To date, Japan has continued to support indigenous whaling within the IWC.
The decision to withdraw from the IWC offers Japan a golden opportunity to awaken from its postwar illusions about international organizations. Undoubtedly, Japan will be bombarded with criticism by the anti-whaling countries and radical environmental groups.
I still remember the taste of hard-to-swallow fried whale meat served in Japanese school lunches. I have no nostalgia for it, but when I come across news that “Japan is doing it again” — committing supposed whale-hunting atrocities — the taste comes back.
The movie Behind ‘THE COVE’ presents the audience with facts about how the Japanese have lived alongside whales since the ancient times as well as the historical context of the whaling culture.
After the announcement of Japan’s withdrawal from the IWC, the media in Europe, the United States, and Oceania all criticized Japan with emotion-based arguments presented in the editorials of internationally-renowned newspapers.
Every year, the SC meets in the spring/early summer for three weeks. The agenda for the annual meeting is decided based upon the individual subjects chosen by the subcommittees in their fields of expertise. Out of this, the SC usually presents a set of scientific recommendations relevant to stock management to the Commission Meeting (CM) of the IWC.
From the point of view of countries that support sustainable whaling, it is very difficult to understand why hunting is allowed for animals such as deer and kangaroos, but forbidden for whales.
Major media outlets in anti-whaling countries in the West and Oceania have been sweepingly critical, branding Japan’s actions as “barbarism” and “foolish.” Calls for an outright ban on whaling, akin to those made by anti-whaling nations at the IWC’s annual meeting, are being put forth.