Nisshin Maru Factory Vessel

Yesterday we learned that once again Japan’s whaling fleet has left port and is heading to the International Whale Sanctuary in the Southern Ocean to continue its annual whale slaughter. With Japan still reeling from their recent earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima nuclear disasters — to spend more taxpayer money to support their whaling program is nothing short of shameful. My Japanese colleague, Junichi Sato (Executive Director of Greenpeace Japan) had this to say as the fleet departed –  

Not only is the whaling industry unable to survive without large increases in government handouts, now it’s siphoning money away from the victims of the March 11 triple disaster, at a time when they need it most. This is a new low for the shameful whaling industry and the callous politicians that support it. Japan’s whaling program is already a black mark on the country’s international reputation; the government should focus on recovery at home rather than continuing this shameful Antarctic whale hunt. It is time for the Japanese government to do the right thing by its people, the international community and the environment by committing to drop its financial support for the whaling industry for once and for all.”  

I fail to see how wasting taxpayer money on hunting whales in an International Whale Sanctuary can be seen as anything other than an international embarrassment.

Japan’s politicians that again supported increased subsidies to fund yet another year of needless whale slaughter have turned their backs on their own citizens and their ability to recovery from multiple disasters – their behavior is nothing short of shameful.

Photo: The Nisshin Maru factory ship, of the Japanese whaling fleet, departs Japan to head to the Southern Ocean to begin the whaling season of 2010-2011.