Wednesday, 14 December 2011

A Japanese Citizen Speaks: ''Japan tsunami relief funds go to save — whaling''

Putting it politely, the Japanese Government could never be accused of being the sharpest chisel in the box, one would only have to read my Fukushima coverage to have that endorsed.

That this same government knows that Japan's whaling activities are despised all over the world, passes up the perfect opportunity to end this outdated, barbaric practice, saying that it is no longer viable given the recent natural and man made disasters that have befallen the country.

Because if this most recent piece of insanity, the ripping off of tsunami relief fund to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, is in order to save face, and many think so, by sending their killing fleet to the Southern Ocean once more, then I'm lost for words to describe their way of thinking.

And so is the fellow that wrote this article, that says as much as needs to be said, letting me off the hook having to write (rant) more. But I shall just pull this sentence out of the body of the text.

And more importantly, whatever I gave to Japan, I will be giving more to Sea Shepherd to continue its fight against the Japanese whaling fleet

And he Japanese at that.

And that is something we all must remember, no money no direct action by Sea Shepherd, the only organisation that is actively involved in thwarting the Japanese killing machine in Antarctica. Where is Greenpeace?

I don't know what the budget is for running, many many millions of dollars at least, and here's the rub; every last dollar given freely by a sensitive, caring public in order to put an end, once and for all, something that should have ended decades ago.

Volunteer dollars only, fighting corrupt, and it's all of that, government subsidies and money stolen from the victims of Japan's recent devastating tsunami.

And those volunteer dollars are the most important thing in the world, no money, no action and another thousand magnificent creatures meet their deaths in such a manner so cruel, so horrendous, that it makes me wonder just what we are as a species. In fact I think I have in the past gone so far as to question if indeed whalers are part of the same species as us, and not a sub-species of humanity in their own right.

With all this in mind, might I ask you to consider supporting Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, their activities are not directed at solely stopping this gruesome trade in whales, but the protection of dolphins, sharks, turtles and many other species around the globe.

There is a direct link to SSCS donations page in the side bar. Please help if you can, thank you.

Japan tsunami relief funds go to save — whaling.
Michael Yaki
Dec 13 2011

Once again, the subject of whale-killing has surfaced, and, once again, Japan decides to lead the annual “Coal in Stocking” holiday sweepstakes. Why?

Because the Japanese government just confirmed that it has targeted roughly $30 million of its special Tsunami reconstruction budget to provide additional and increased financial support for its notorious whaling industry.

That’s right. No joke. Of the billions being spent to rebuild villages and towns wiped out by the tsunami, to repair an electrical infrastructure crippled by the meltdowns in Fukushima, to safeguard millions from the continuing threat of radiation poisoning, the Japanese government thoughtfully determined that propping up a pariah industry was a priority as well. It has used the money to bulk up security for its factory vessels that are headed down, even as we speak, to the southern oceans to kill a thousand whales in the name of “science.” It is also triple what the whaling industry receives each year from the government.

In plain English, the Japanese government is using its tsunami largess to inject tens of millions of dollars into an industry that serves no useful purpose.

In response, the Japanese government has stated that no “donations” have been used to fund the whale-killing stimulus package, but we all know that just parses the real budget issues involved. For reasons unknown and unexplainable, the Japanese government is addicted to the whaling industry and, like all addicts who found a windfall, decided to go for the big score. But money is fungible. Just because you have $10, you can’t use all $10 to buy crack cocaine if you also need $5 of that ten to buy some milk for your cats. If your friend gives you $5, and you use that to buy milk, you can say with a straight face that none of that money went to buy $10 worth of crack. But anyone knows that without it, you wouldn’t have been able to get your fix. And that’s exactly what Japan has done with the tsunami donations it has received, enabling it to divert other budget funds into enhancing its ability to kill whales.

This expenditure is immoral. It is frivolous. It is a slap in the face of the millions of donors to Japan, many who, no doubt, deeply disagree with their whale hunting but who — like me — were willing to dig into their own pockets because it’s what neighbors, friends, members of the human community do in times of crisis. We don’t expect, however, to be told that our dollars enabled them to exponentially increase its proficiency at shooting exploding harpoon grenades into sentient marine mammals. And don’t let the party line of “we’re not killing endangered whales” let them off the hook. They target fin whales, the second-largest living being, and which is squarely the endangered species list. And there is more than credible evidence that the whaling fleet has killed critically endangered blue whales. And don’t buy “it’s part of our historic traditional diet” malarkey either. 95% of Japan doesn’t eat, or want to eat, whale meat.

I just don’t get it. There remains little, if any, justification for the hunting of whales, and what little there is is more than offset by the critically low population levels of many, if not most, of the remaining species still swimming freely in our increasingly polluted, crowded, and overharvested oceans. Whales bring in far more dollars alive than dead. Every year brings exciting new revelations shedding light on their intelligence, their social groupings, even signs of culture.

Japan could have used the tsunami as an excuse to invest money into the coastal villages that it says are “dependent” on whaling into other, better, and more economically prudent and lasting enterprises. It could have gracefully saved face from the annual shellacking it takes from the international community. Instead, it stubbornly decided to amp up the stakes even more.

Well, Japan, game on.

I won’t be so petty as to ask for my money back. But I believe that amongst the international community, notice should be taken of this ill-use of disaster relief funds when Japan asks for assistance in the future. And more importantly, whatever I gave to Japan, I will be giving more to Sea Shepherd to continue its fight against the Japanese whaling fleet. Last year, because of Sea Shepherd, the Japanese called off its hunt early. Against a better-funded Japanese fleet, it appears that once again cetacean lovers everywhere must spend part of their holiday funds to ensure peace in our oceans and goodwill for all whales. Source

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