Thursday, November 20, 2008

Japan and Australia.

2500 unique views!
Go me! lol

I became involved in the whaling issue when the Japanese government announced its plans to launch a kill mission against the Humpback whales that I enjoy watching at my local beach. That was over a year ago now, and the facebook group to protest Japans whaling that I joined with a few thousand members, now has over 250,000! We all have our own reasons but one thing is clear, the future of the whales is a global issue and by a massive % the world wants the whaling ended.

Propaganda wars have raged accross the internet and there has been lots of nationalist mud slinging between the nations of Australia and Japan in particular.

I just read this bit of news here and noticed two bits that stood out.

"Japan has nil national interest in the whaling industry," Taniguchi continues. "The stake for Japan is near zero. If Australians criticise the Japanese auto industry, Japan must do everything possible to protect the auto industry. This is not the auto industry."

He is writing a long piece for a Japanese magazine, Wedge, to ask Japanese to consider the balance sheet of national interests. On the other side of the ledger, he contends, "this issue is doing substantial damage to Japan's image in Australia, the US, Canada, the UK, New Zealand," the entire English-speaking world.

For a moment this year Australia hoped the whaling problem would disappear. In May Taro Aso, then secretary-general of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said if Australia's feelings towards Japan were hurt unnecessarily "only in order to sustain such a small industry", then Japan should "address this issue as quickly as possible", according to an official record of his remarks. Aso made fun of the whaling industry's pretensions to scientific legitimacy.

"Has anyone heard of any scientific results coming from Japan's whaling program?" he posed rhetorically.

So thats interesting but it still ended with a sting.

Many countries have an ugly blemish that mars the total image and makes other peoples recoil in distaste. China has Tibet, the US has Guantanamo Bay, Turkey has Armenian genocide, and Japan has whaling. Uneconomic and increasingly costly to Japan's image, Taniguchi expects it will disappear in a few years. But in the meantime, he fears that escalation could damage the interests of Australia as well as Japan. "Japanese children would be horrified to learn that Australians routinely kill and even eat kangaroos, which they think are much cuter than whales."
PS: If you are interested in Kangaroo conservation and protection try out these two links!
Link1, Link2.

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