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Japan to import whale meat to subsidise ‘scientific whaling’?

In what must be the most perverse of arguments, Japan claims it now needs to import whale meat in order to generate enough ‘profit’ to subsidise its so-called ‘scientific whaling‘.

The Yomuiri Shimbun reports that a ‘Japanese firm that has played a central role in research whaling will soon launch full-scale whale meat imports after a 23-year hiatus’

‘Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha, Ltd., a Tokyo-based shipping company, is expected to import about 30 tons of minke whale meat from Norway early next year, sources close to the deal said.’…’Currently, the red meat of minke whales sells at relatively high retail prices of ¥3,000 to ¥4,500 per 100 grams.

One point of concern, however, is that the importer is Kyodo Senpaku. Along with the Institute of Cetacean Research, the shipping company has played a pivotal role in research whaling, as it not only prepared vessels for research whaling, but also was involved in selling of whales.

“Research whaling for the year is funded by sales profits from the previous year, so the sale of imported whale meat will be necessary to continue conducting research whaling,” the company said.’

The article goes onto quote Ayako Okubo, an instructor at the School of Marine Science and Technology at Tokai University as saying, ‘”If the volume of imports rises, it will be necessary to reexamine state subsidies for research whaling,” she said. “I’m afraid sales will not expand if prices are set at a high level for whale meat from research whaling.”’

So we could have the perverse situation that Japan, with huge stock piles of whale meat of its own, scared of a declining market with a new generation turning away from whale meat, is going to ‘subsidise’ Norwegian whaling in order to decrease its own market prices to try and stimulate more domestic consumption….so that its own whaling fleet can still make a ‘profit’.

It’s time the Japanese public wake up to the fact that its Government is using its taxpayers money to keep a dying and unecessary industry alive for no reason than a few individuals want it to do so.