Saturday, December 22, 2007

Japan plays dumpty humpty

With the newly elected Australian government planning to send planes, boats, trained personnel and automatic weapons to keep an eye on the annual Japanese whaling scientific slaughter of whales in the Antarctic regions, Japan is showing signs of backing off, if not backing down.

Humpbacks win reprieve
Japan last month sent its fleet to Antarctica on its largest whaling expedition, including 50 humpback whales in its catch - for the first time since the 1960s.

The fleet will still kill up to 935 minke whales and 50 fin whales. However, even before the [Australian government letter of demarche] protest document was delivered, Japanese public broadcaster NHK announced the humpback cull had been scrapped.

"Japan has decided to delist humpbacks from the whaling list for now due to concern about the negative impact on relations with Australia," NHK said, quoting unnamed officials.

A couple of interesting perspectives from Australia touching on the topic are:
Whaling debate touches a raw nerve in Japan

AS Kevin Rudd embarks on a morally inspired whaling war with Japan, using gunboat diplomacy on the high seas, he should remember that this will be Whale War II and that Australia was the villain in WWI.

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