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).
The five whaling boats chugged out into the bumpy waters off of eastern Hokkaido, a tiny armada under gray skies and the gaze of the world.
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.
In the great ocean, a lamafa (whale hunter) engages in battle with a whale to humbly and gratefully take its life. This intense scene was captured by Japanese photographer Bon Ishikawa,
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.
People from the US, the UK, and Australia—countries that are especially concerned about the whaling problem—have told me that the film was eye-opening.
Japanese film director Keiko Yagi got the award for Best Director at the 2018 London International Filmmaker Festival for her documentary film ‘Behind THE COVE.’ Ms Yagi produced the film in 2015 to counter The Cove, which received the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2010.
It happened in the lush woodland area of Khimki, near Moscow, late at night in July 2012. Someone set the heavy equipment on fire in the construction site for a new highway leading from Moscow to St. Petersburg, the second capital of Russia.
It might sound like a regular scene in a normal fishing village, but it wasn’t. The boat was setting off to hunt whales destined for scientific research, and this was the last time it would do so.