Land of the Sinking Sun

Japanese whalers are said to have sunk one of the protest fleet. A “stealth boat” tender. Obviously, I wasn’t in the Antarctic, and don’t know for sure. But how can scuttling boats be regarded as part of a scientific mission? How many people have to die, as well as cetaceans, before the slaughter stops?

Act. Now.


5 Responses

  1. This is such a complex issue. My first and foremost question is this: The Japanese are apparently researching in Australian waters – Australian waters according to whom? I haven’t been able to ascertain exactly what authority has sanctioned our claim to those waters.
    We have been aware of this disgraceful issue for years. Our governments have had ample time to validate our claim, and to issue a directive insisting that the Japanese cease stealing our whales. Or alternatively, to INvalidate our claim, in which case the government would be forced to do nothing.
    So what does this mean? That the government is doing nothing because they know any formal claim to the sea will be invalidated? Or because there are too many $$$ in trade sanctions at stake? Admit it – corporations, governments, and the vast majority of individuals are far more interested in $$$ than in some whale they’ve never seen.
    The protesters may be making a stand they believe in, but they face the legally allowed repurcussions of the government they are protesting against. Scuttling is well within Japan’s legal rights, as long as they obey the international requirements for ensuring the protest ship’s crew are rescued. It will serve no purpose to attack Japan, they were operating within the law against people who were breaking the law.
    That said, I disagree with whaling. I believe what the Japanese have done is morally wrong. I am happy to voice my displeasure.
    But am I prepared to act? Considering the acts available to me, I’m not sure. I have my own familial and financial issues to deal with, so I can’t do an Isabel Lucas or jump on board the Steve Irwin. I can’t exert any pressure – I have no influence.
    All I have is the power of disapproval. We all have that power. Japan would hear our displeasure loud and clear if we spoke with our wallets. A complete boycott. Refusing to buy Japanese takeaways. Refusing to drive Japanese cars. Refusing to use Japanese electronics. Refusing to make recreational trips to Japan. Refusing to play Japanese video games. Easy, yes? Well, no. How many of the products we buy and use every day are manufactured in Japan? Lots. How many of us are prepared to give these things up for the sake of the whales? I think, if it came to the crunch, not very bloody many of us.
    And the Japanese know this.
    Why should they do what we say while we are handing them as much money as our credit providers will allow? Why indeed!
    Unless we come up with some legal avenue to force the Japanese to stop, it’s going to be Bye Bye Willie, Adios Moby Dick. But the only legal avenue open to Australia is Boycott. And that means lost revenue – revenue our government isn’t prepared to give up for the sake of a fish.
    I may only be one voice, but I am prepared to speak with it. Sadly, I fear my lone voice will be drowned out by the masses clamouring for more Playstations and Mazdas. Kinda like whalesong is being drowned out by Japanese corporate greed. A greed fed by our own. Makes you wonder, who is really responsible for the slaughter of the whales? Perhaps we should all ask ourselves that the next time we open our wallets to buy a Japanese product.

  2. As far as I know, Australia “owns” part of the Antarctic the same way we “own” our Great Southern Land – dibbsies. Some brave, somewhat foolhardy and ultimately snap-frozen Australian men wandered down that way a few times and bashed our flag into the pack ice.

    I’m right behind a boycott of Japanese exports – I can’t afford anything made in Japan! Now, as a consumer, if I wanted to do my bit to make China suffer for their invasion of Tibet, I’d be stuffed. I tried for about a day and a half, and EVERY BLOODY THING – well, every bloody thing in my price range, anyway – is made in China. I found an Aussie made plastic dog dish the other day and was so happy tears flooded my eyes.

    We could exert more political pressure – well, when I say we mean KRudd and the gang. A scant handful of countries support whaling, everybody else is against. Japan may make Playstations but they’re still on an economic back foot from the GFC. Now would be the time to tighten the vice. C’mon Garrett. You drank a cup of resin and hardened up over Traveston, now really make your mark.

  3. Give me a fast well armed ship as I intend to go in harms way..oh a few million for the inevatible court case.

    Seriously can’t be that expensive to purchase an ex-russian warship sail it down south and lay a few warning shots through the bows of the whalers..

  4. Just pick a crew full of cold-tolerant and asset poor activists, Chaz… they can’t sue you for money you don’t have.

  5. Thats the problem MM, most activists tend to be asset rich ..or at least their parents are.

    Hmm maybe i could sub-contract out to North Korea….

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