Every year when WDCS attends the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting we encounter arguments from the pro-whalers as to why they should continue killing these remarkable creatures. Sometimes the arguments appear as pseudo-science (our ’research whaling’ will eventually reveal how many animals are out there, honest) through to spurious science (The whales are rampantly eating all our fish and eventually will come into our fish markets and eat all the fish there too)
The worst of it though is when the Japanese ultra-nationalists come into play. Anyone that does not agree with them is a racist. Anyone that questions their so-called ‘science’ is an imperialist. Have a look at the work of Kobayashi Yoshinori if you want to see unbridled hatred to anti-whalers in full flow. Articulate, creative some may believe it to be, - but dripping with anti-western sentiment it scares me to think this is what some people actually believe.
It reminds me that I had the ‘pleasure’ of attending the Kyoto IWC some years ago. Now Kyoto is a beautiful city, and if you ever get the chance to go there, please do so. It has great restaurants and beautiful buildings, and the people are wonderful. What wasn’t so good was the busloads of black clad right wing idiots that were parading up and down screeching hatred at us – I am not sure if they were shin-uyoku or just uyoku dantai or some version of the above, but they cheered one of my colleagues, because she is blonde and they thought she was Norwegian – but the rest of us felt like, well to tell you the truth, it reminded me of stories of 1933 all over again. If you didn’t look like them or think like them, you were made to feel less than human.
I guess I am remembering those experiences because I note that the Guardian is quite rightly covering the case of the Greenpeace Two. The article refers to their treatment at the hands of the 'the Tokyo metropolitan government, led by rightwing governor Shintaro Ishihara', is now trying to demonize the recent Greenpeace investigation of whale meat smuggling, whilst pandering to these jingoistic nationalism of commercial whaling.
Our thoughts go out to Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki and their families as they make this stand.
Japan may have many reasons to defend its whaling; it may wish to ruin its international reputation for the few remaining hundreds of jobs that are involved in killing these mammals; it may believe that it can buy its way to 'being right'; but it cannot allow this crude nationalism to continue to define its position on whaling.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)