National Geographic online is suggesting some promoters of a compromise deal with Japan on commercial whaling believe that Japan is finally willing to come to the table and negotiate.
But just who should they be talking to?
It would appear that it's the Fisheries Agency (FA) who have the almost exclusive power to decide on Japanese whaling policy - it would appear that even the prime minister can rarely intrude upon it's 'turf'. In Japan it appears the 'bureaucratic-political' decision making model still holds sway, (as it has doen for many years); so no elected individual minister or elected grouping are willing to take decisions to change policy without the agreement of the bureaucrats of the FA. And where does the FA get its money for its whaling campaign that takes its civil servants around the globe (I understand the Caribbean is very piopular)? - from the annual revenues that so-called 'scientific whaling' produces!
Japan has never seen the IWC as a negotiating forum; it has always approached it as combat, creating as many barriers to discussions as they can.
So why should they (if one could work out who 'they' are) negotiate? 'They' have no interest in changing the status quo and certainly no interest in reducing their budgets inflated by Japanese tax payers 'donations'.
Negotiate!, - Japan's Fisheries Agency - dream on I say!