Sunday, February 9, 2014

Japanese Whalers take a more strident stance!

Each year we see the Southern Ocean become a battleground between Japanese Whalers and various groups trying to stop the practise the Japanese label as ‘Scientific research.’ Of course we all know that this is just a way of continuing the slaughter of whales, a practice that the vast majority of the world’s nations abhor, some to the point of putting real pressure on Japan. We also know that Japan, especially under the ‘guidance’ of their new PM (Abe) is beginning to fight back. We have seen collision in the dangerous seas off the Antarctic coastline and it won’t be long before there are deaths. Yesterday we saw a Japanese vessel enter NZ’s EEZ, something that is not illegal, but it does represent a ramping up of the actions taken by the Japanese to discourage ‘protest’ vessels from their increasingly dangerous actions. Whilst I am on the side of the ‘anti-whalers,’ I would like to see them take measures that do not endanger lives.
There must be other ways in which to pressure the Japanese. Given their actions in the Northern Hemisphere around a group of Islands that they dispute access to with the Chinese, I suspect that we are in for some torrid times. I hope that level heads prevail on both sides. I hope even more that we are not witnessing a revival of old Japanese wishes to play a belligerent role in world affairs. A return to the past has no winners.