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

Obama finally in office

Although I am sure that just about everyone else in the world is writing (and happy) about Obama finally taking office I have a bit of a concern. Although I think he will be good for the country and the world I am sure, many things may be more out of his control that we realise. With everybody thinking that he will save us from all the horrors that the previous president created, I worry that he just might not be able to live up to these stratospheric level expectations… (and what will happen if/when he doesn’t?)

Reaction by Japanese news to near 100$ a barrel oil

This morning I was watching the news program of a major news progam and at exactly 7:30AM a giant headline appeared on the screen saying that a barrel of oil had closed at over $97US in New York at the end of the previous day of trading.

This is indeed quite significant news.

However, immediatly following this shocking headline there was 5 minute segment indicating the influence of such an increase in the price of oil. The new program deemed that the best way to focus the 5 minute segment was on how the price of preparing food at elementary schools has increased. Yes, that’s right, this news program decided that the aspect of expensive oil mosty worthy reporting is elementry school lunches. The 5 minute segment was filled with an explanation of why it was costing more (like transportation) and what schools were doing to cope with the increased costs as well as a good dose of parents whining about the few extra pennies (yen, really…) that they will have to pay for their elementary school attending children’s lunches (which presently stands at 230yen according to the program, about $2US.

I find it just laughable that this is what the news station feels is most worthy of reporting. But I guess what can I really expect, is there really any upside for the television station if the news network reports on what might actually happen in the event of extreme oil prices and an energy crunch.

Japan starts fingerprinting foreigners.

As I wrote in a Previous article Japan was scheduled to start fingerprinting all foreigners that enter Japan include those with permenant residence and excluding those that fit into special categories such as 3rd generation Korean born or people on diplomatic visa and they did just so.
Continue reading Japan starts fingerprinting foreigners.

Do we really need bottled water?

The market for bottled watter grows every year and in the US it currently stands at 15B $US and set to pass 16B$ next year.

In the last few months, the bottled water industry has been taking a fair beating in the media. Quite rightfully so in my mind. Bottled water seems like a very large waste of energy in our already energy-strapped economy. Articles like this this point out how environmentally all that bottled water is. In fact the water has to be trucked around to get to its destination, rather than flowing through pipes for city water which is much much more efficient. Brita and Nagene even teamed up to try and get people to use Brita products to clean water and reuseable Nalgene bottles to drink from with the http://www.filterforgood.com/ website. This Nalege-Brita team seems like an especially good idea to me. Once can still get good clean water without producing the mountains of plastic bottle waste.

Continue reading Do we really need bottled water?