„Following last week’s decision, the government must think calmly about its future policy. While planning a long-range strategy, we believe the government should ask itself this fundamental question: Is Antarctic whaling truly necessary for Japan?

Japan’s position is that it wants to resume commercial whaling in the Antarctic, and that research whaling is a preparatory step. Anti-whaling nations have all sorts of reasons of their own, but they are united in their opposition to commercial whaling in any form, and they are not giving an inch.

Demand for whale meat is not growing at all in Japan, and the nation’s ocean-going whaling industry is effectively dead. Given this reality, there is little justification for Japan’s stated need to resume commercial whaling in the Antarctic.

The most notable compromise plan so far floated by the IWC is to allow coastal whaling but ban hunting beyond 200 miles of the coast. The basic thinking is that each country should engage in coastal whaling at its discretion. But the international community’s majority opinion should be honored for whaling in the Antarctic and other open seas.

We believe this is an appropriate plan. It requires anti-whaling nations to acknowledge whales as a „utilizable resource.“ But at the same time, Japan should rethink its position and switch course, namely, to downscale and eventually give up Antarctic whaling so long as its right to coastal whaling is guaranteed. “

Quelle: The Asahi Shimbun, Feb. 22 , EDITORIAL: Whaling season called off

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