Karuizawa to Izumo – Golden Week Cycling

As I have in many past years, I will head out for a cycle-camp trip this year over Golden Week. This year, however, I have only taken the calendar days and 3 personal days for a total of 11 days off.

I will leave in the morning from Tokyo via shinkansen and come back from Izumo on a night train.

I will be updating daily on my Japanese Blog.

Whale sashimi in Japanese supermarkets

Recently, I have noticed Antarctic whale meat (in the form of sashimi) on supermarket shelves lately. The particular species of whale that was on sale at my local supermarket was the Minke Whale.

Japan tells the world that they are killing whales for research purposes and not for food. The international community generally does not buy this story as the number of whales that are killed do not support the idea that it really is a research program. My personal opinion regarding whaling is that if Japan wants to hunt whales, as some other countries, notably Norway, do then they should do as they wish. Its the lying to the international community that I wish they would stop.

The meat in the store only seemed to fuel my opinion. The whale meat carried a sticker that carried the following messages:

  • There are 760 000 Minke whales! (This is a number taken from about 20 to 30 years ago from the IWC and the IWC currently states that unable to to provide reliable estimates at the present time. A major review is underway by the Scientific Committee)
  • Whales are part of the Japanese Culinary Culture
  • We care for this abundant resource.

The seal is listed as being from the Antarctic Whaling Research and the sticker itself is registered trade mark of the Toshoku Business unit of Cargill.

Does the above really sound like it is from an organisation whose primary goal is to perform research? I would submit that it does not.

Also, if it really is research being performed, why is it necessary to kill thousands of whales. Researchers of other endangered species do not find it necessary to kill thousands of them each year, so why is it necessary for whales?

My response is the same one as when I am asked whether I am against whaling or not. Japan should come out and tell the world what its whaling organisation is about � hunting � and stop the obvious lies about it being for research.

Whale Meat
Whale meat on sale at my local supermarket

Zoom in on whale meat sticker
Zoom in on the sticker that was attached