Thursday, June 23, 2011

Taiji, Japan, and the Global Community

The world was shocked and saddened by the earthquake, tsunami, and the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan. Many people in Japan are bravely suffering through what is probably the most traumatic experience of their lives.
People ask me if the current situation in Japan will impact my activist activities. It might change the strategy, but not the goals and objectives. I will continue to oppose anyone from any country who kills whales or dolphins. The current situation in Japan does not grant them any latitude.
The whaling industry is having serious financial problems and it is unlikely it will receive a cash injection when there are so many cities and towns that need to be rebuilt. And what about Taiji?  There is no question that Taiji continues to be a public relations disaster. The actions of a few have tarnished the reputation of the nation and this has impacted the willingness of some to donate to Japanese relief agencies, but fortunately individuals as well as nations have joined in the effort. They made this choice because it was the right thing to do.
We share the same values of family and community as do the citizens of Japan. But what about the issues where we differ?  Japan views whales and dolphins as resources that can be harvested, bought, sold, and eaten. This separates the Japanese from those who are trying to help this nation in crisis.
What is to become of this divide?  Will the current crisis in Japan widened the gap or will it bring us closer together? I hope Japan will join the rest of the world; a world with an appreciation for biodiversity and a world of global citizens who are intrinsically linked by the oceans we share and protect.
In my blog, “New Year’s Predictions for Taiji”, I wrote “Eventually Japan will have no choice but to stop issuing permits to kill small cetaceans. The international opposition to the dolphin slaughter in Taiji continues to grow and Japan cannot financially afford to isolate itself from the world by legally permitting acts that are considered criminal is most other countries.”   I stand by my prediction.
The countries who kill whales and dolphins are Japan, Iceland, Norway, and the Faeroe Islands of Denmark so that means the vast majority of the countries in the world oppose Japan’s commercial whaling activities and the dolphin slaughter, but in response to our complaints, they call us racists.  Will it now be harder for Japan to play the “racist card”? Are all those people from all around the world who are donating money to help rebuild Japan “racists”?  This defense was always pathetic, but now it will also be insulting.   
For the Oceans,

1 comment:

  1. All I can add, is that if OPPOSING the harvesting of whales and dolphins is being a "racist"...then count me in. The slaughter of these beautiful sea creatures is nothing short of murder - and the last time I checked...murder is a crime. Furthermore, if anyone needs proof of the lack of civilized behavior in Japan, take a look at how it has treated it's domestic animals in the wake of the nuclear crisis.