Several years ago WDCS raised concerns about the issue of suspiciously high levels of Mercury and other contaminants in whale and dolphin meat products available in Japan. However, Japanese officials seemed committed to ensuring that nothing would disrupt their zealotry in trying to get commercial whaling endorsed; for some not even the safety of their own people seems to have been an issue. Now others are willing to speak out and take responsibility for their countrymen.
At a time when some governments seem as committed to give in to Japanese blackmail (we shall kill more whales – like humpbacks, if you don’t give us what we want - is how it normally goes) it should be remembered that Japan is changing and that pro-conservation governments simply have to hold strong and Japan will change around them, even if its leaders are still stuck in the past.
The International Herald Tribune is reporting on the debate in Taiji where, at the urging of two town council members, schools promised to stop serving pilot whale for lunch, and some local supermarkets removed it and dolphin from their shelves.
The article notes the reluctance of the Japanese press to cover the issue, but the true impact is what the article goes on to say, that even in this bastion of whaling, ‘Most of those under 40 no longer eat the meat, according to many residents. "We're not saying that consumption of dolphin should disappear, but I think it's inevitable that it will," said Ryono, the council member. "As the older generation disappears, so will demand for dolphin meat."’