Whaling costs Japan taxpayers $10 mil a year, animal welfare group says

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  • 9

    Jimizo

    'Ultimately the decision to end whaling....will be held in Tokyo by Japanese decision makers for reasons that make sense to them'. Reasons which 'make sense'? Sorry, logic left the building a long time ago here. A waste of tax? This is the LDP we are talking about.

  • 12

    Nessie

    Only 10 million? Would have thought it was more.

  • 1

    bruinfan

    You want to do it...do it on your own dime!

  • 13

    zichi

    ¥933,800,000 per year for an industry employing less than 5,000 workers. It would be cheaper to pay them to stay at home. The whaling industry don't contain much common sense or logic.

  • 3

    Pukey2

    It would cost less if they divert some funds earmarked for rebuilding Tohoku to whaling. Whoops - they've done that already!

  • -5

    proxy

    $10 million a year????????? That is nothing; cheap! If anything that small little amount when compared with how much money other food producers, rice farmers, get justifies the hunt.

  • 0

    Peter Payne

    Like most reasonable people I am against killing animals that sing beautifully, especially when doing so greatly harms Japan's standing in the world. But to pay a sinking industry taxpayer money, this is terrible.

  • 6

    Saulo Akazawa

    Hey, whale watching sounds great. Dolphin watching, even better! That would probably be the only way I would spend money in Wakayama again. I have avoided, knowingly, buying anything from that prefecture for years now (including tourism), but I would be glad to go on an eco-tour to watch the thousand of dolphins that still migrate thru their waters.

  • 5

    zichi

    @proxy

    $10 million a year????????? That is nothing; cheap! If anything that small little amount when compared with how much money other food producers, rice farmers, get justifies the hunt.

    The thing is, people actually eat rice but less than 15% eat whale flesh?

  • 1

    paulinusa

    "Only 10 million? Would have thought it was more."

    Yes, much more.Those ships are modern, state of the art and just the upkeep and operation costs way more than stated.

  • 4

    Hiroicci

    This is one of the expensive political antics that only the right wing Japanese support.

  • 5

    Tark Meetup Katrina Larsen

    Shame on Japan, as is the dolphin hunt in Taiji.

  • 5

    wtfjapan

    PRIDE is the most stubborn trait to break, could cost $100million and the J Gov would still fund it. then again when its somebody elses money who cares. saving face to the peers is all that matters, doenst matter if the rest of the world thinks there arrogant illogical morons!

  • 4

    papasmurfinjapan

    I'm with Zichi, Japan's purse strings are tight enough as it is, so there is little logic to spending this much money on whaling... Spend it on Tohoku, or the broken education system.

  • 9

    Farmboy

    My opinion on whaling is never hugely popular, so I'm ready for those negative votes, but if these folks are worried about how much whaling costs, they should stay home, because it will cost less without them.

    The following, I believe, is true.

    1. Whale doesn't taste particularly good to most young people.

    2. The old people who fondly remember eating whale when they were young, and in kindergarden, are getting older.

    3. The whaling industry is dying a slow death.

    4. It would die a faster death if environmentalists would go away, because all they are doing is making whaling an issue of Western, non-whaling, countries forcing their will on whaling countries.

    5. Just let whaling die. Left alone, it will soon do so.

  • -3

    Yubaru

    Those ships are modern, state of the art and just the upkeep and operation costs way more than stated.

    If they are so modern than why did a previous article here make the claim that the main processing ship the (?)Yushin Maru I think it was named, is badly in need of major repairs and is rusting from age.

  • 1

    Crazedinjapan

    Lots of dogs in Japan...sure they tallied up the profits of dog food sales right ?? That 5000tons socked away ...is that in isle 5 of all chain retail stores ...pet food ?? Reason I say this is because I've been interested to see what it looks like and have asked in numerous grocery stores only to be told they didn't have any.

  • 0

    borax

    Farmboy, everything you said there makes perfect sense. I'm just worried if the industry really will die if left alone. Maybe young people aren't eating that much whale, but I'm sure there are plenty of young people involved in the actual whaling, and other parts of the industry. Especially in agriculture, as long as there are people whose livelihoods are at stake, I have a feeling the gov will continue to support them with public money.

  • -5

    Heda_Madness

    This is the only way that whaling will be stopped. From a PR campaign that turns the Japanese public against the industry. Something that the SS could learn from instead of throwing glass bottles at Japanese citizens. Which is something that reinforces the Japanese support of the industry.

  • 1

    cl400

    I don't think whaling will die soon. It seems like it's done purely to hold onto the tradition of doing it. Like the cull of dolphins in Wakayama. They still do it, but for what purpose? Japanese people don't like to admit to being wrong. They don't like to be blamed for things which are wrong. And they don't often learn from their mistakes (or at least from other peoples mistakes). So, unfortunately, I don't think whaling will stop anytime soon.

  • -2

    borax

    Crazedinjapan - some grocery stores have it all the time, some never do. Just browse the unsliced sashimi part of the fish section, and look for the dark, dark red fish - darker than tuna. Eat at your own risk, though.

  • 2

    Nessie

    ¥933,800,000 per year for an industry employing less than 5,000 workers. It would be cheaper to pay them to stay at home. The whaling industry don't contain much common sense or logic.

    This is true, but it's also true for hundreds of other industries in Japan and Australia. Whale is hardly the only pork barrel, and the sum is chump change for Japan.

  • 3

    zichi

    @Nessie,

    I don't think we can call nearly 1 trillion per year for less than 5,000 workers, "chump change?"

  • 4

    Disillusioned

    I too suspect that 10 million bucks is an underestimate, but either way, that money would go a long in supporting the public works. Could paint quite a few schools with that sort of money spent (wasted) every year. Their so-called 'research' is a sham and everybody knows it. There is no reason for them to kill 1,000 whales per year in the southern oceans or the few hundred more from the northern oceans. Their argument is, they need to kill so many whales to sell the meat to support the "uhum" research, which makes it a commercial enterprise, doesn't it? Plus, they use tax payers' money to supplement it and, last year, they used Tohoku donations to send Coast Guard ships. It is nothing but an absolute sham that every tax payer in Japan is supporting. Meanwhile, there are still a few hundred thousand people living in shacks and school in the north-east. Knob heads!

  • 2

    Nessie

    I don't think we can call nearly 1 trillion per year for less than 5,000 workers, "chump change?"

    Oh, I think the subsidies should end, but I would be shocked if you couldn't find plenty of smaller, useless industries with even bigger subsidies per person.

  • -10

    Kyle Alpert

    Funny how Western nations are teetering on the verge of collapse, but they still have the will to perpetuate false contraversies such as this. What many foreigners dont get, is that Japan wastes ¥¥ like this (preserving the past, ensuring the future), because their 'friends' and neighbors would find some excuse to demand the surplus. Besides, whale is delicious and packed with all sorts of nutrition not found near the surface. Until foreigners have better living/health statistics, mouths should be shut.

  • 3

    tkoind2

    Increased taxes, rising poverty, forced inflation, joblessness, under-employment, recovery for the north, fukushima clean up and we are wasting money on whaling?!?!?

    End this waste of money now!!! Or stop charging us for all these taxes and get that $10mil a year back from the whalers.

  • 1

    Disillusioned

    Kyle Alpert - Besides, whale is delicious and packed with all sorts of nutrition not found near the surface. Until foreigners have better living/health statistics, mouths should be shut.

    Pardon??? Did you not read the article? Nobody eats the bloody stuff, so you point is totally moot!

  • -2

    humanrights

    Whale is not an important part of Diet. Preserving endangered animals is far more productive for the future. Japanese are short sighted as always.

  • -3

    humanrights

    @Kyle Albert We have better Health Statistics AND FREEDOM which you dont have!

  • 3

    tkoind2

    Agreed, it is not a significant part of the local diet. That is absolute nonsense. And the connection to health is pure speculation on your part. Unless of course you have the scientific evidence from proven studies to back your claim connecting whale meat to health. I sincerely doubt you do. But nice try anyway.

    Next propagandist for whale hunting please step forward.

  • -1

    Nessie

    For comparison, $10 million is less than The International Fund for Animal Welfare spends on their seal campaign.

    http://www.guidestar.org/PartnerReport.aspx?partner=justgivews&ein=31-1594197

  • -4

    hidingout

    Next propagandist for whale hunting please step forward.

    Why would anyone bother? The rabble rabble rabble crowd is in full frenzy mode on this topic. But OK, I'll repeat my opinion from last year.

    Whale meat tastes pretty good and more people would certainly eat it if it were available in shops at a reasonable price - which it isn't in most regions of Japan.

    SS and that lot need to stop fooling around and get real jobs.

  • 7

    Disillusioned

    hidingout - Whale meat tastes pretty good and more people would certainly eat it if it were available in shops at a reasonable price - which it isn't in most regions of Japan.

    Oh, please! Are you for real? I can buy whale meat at the local super in Chiba. It is for sale in many places, but nobody wants to eat it and that is why it is sold at selective outlets only. It is also why the price is somewhat high, because there is very little demand for it and it is risky to sell cos of the low demand.

    It's quite ironic that the pro-whaling crowd come up with rhetoric and jargon to support their cause, but the anti-whalers are able to use facts.

  • 2

    AriesKJJ

    A Japanese fisheries agency official declined to comment, saying the agency was not aware of the IFAW statement. But he said Japanese whaling was scientific research and was not an industry.

    I guess he's not aware a couple of months ago the Min. of Fisheries said the whaling industry was indeed an industry as a way to justify using Tsunami Relief Funds. Lying gets so complicated who could blame him.

    And they want an Olympics? Better get a fatter wallet out than the one that was keeping the whaling industry afloat! You can't thumb your nose at the international community then come around sniffing for favors.

  • 6

    tkoind2

    hidingout. Very limited point of view there. Lots of things are yummy to eat, but not necessary. Two different things. Whale meat is not only not necessary but has been proven to have health risks resulting from heavy metals and other contaminants.

    Combine that with the ecological reasons and you have no logical rationale to eat whale.

    But all that aside, do you really want to be paying taxes for whaling? Does it benefit society? No! Does it solve our many economic and social issues? No! So why the hell are we paying for out of taxes?

    It should stop and the government should spend that money on something useful. There are plenty other things to do with that funding. Wouldn't you agree?

  • -4

    hidingout

    Oh, please! Are you for real?

    I think so ... are you?

    I can buy whale meat at the local super in Chiba. It is for sale in many places

    Good for you. I've been checking at all the supermarkets I frequent (and even stopped in at some that I don't usually shop at) since this issue became a topic at JT about a year ago. I have yet to find any supermarket carrying whale meat. Those shopkeepers willing to talk to me about it have told me that there is no point making themselves a target for environmental terrorists to sell a product with such a low profit margin. Fortunately I know a little izakaya that does some really nice whale meat dishes and I stop by there from time to time even though its a bit far from my place.

    but nobody wants to eat it and that is why it is sold at selective outlets only

    Wrong. Many people want to eat it, if its reasonably priced. As I said above it seems that the current price (driven up by the cost of fending off eco-terrorists and the ridiculous charade of "research whaling") makes selling it a losing proposition for most supermarkets. Of course once Japan resumes commercial whaling I expect the price to fall and my supermarket shelves to be well-stocked.

  • 0

    Cortes Elijah

    @Dissillousioned or how ever you spell it. I eat whale weekly. So your wrong. I see many people eating it when I go to sushi which is also around 2 times a week. Whale does not taste too exciting but it is still nice. I don't think it is wrong to kill whales for food...but I do think it is wrong when it costs Japanese including me....extra...and also it goes into my home countries water (Australia) to kill.

    What needs to happen is Australian Gov needs to do something.

  • 1

    Mike Critchley

    As logical as the wasted taxes point is, I suspect it will fall on deaf ears. I had a heated argument on this with a very well educated Japanese guy I know who is HIGHLY critical the same issues that most of the foreign community regularly rail on.

    Yet when it comes to whaling, his logic escapes him. The stockpiled whale meat. The taxpayer-supported industry. The idiocy of the "scientific research" loophole. All of it is less important to him that pure stubborn nationalism. He considers whaling a Japanese right, doesn't find the practice itself at all barbaric (even after seeing the videos of how whales are killed) and thinks strongly that Japan should continue it, "even if we don't use the meat."

  • 1

    badsey3

    Of course this Gov "research" is wasteful = If it wasn't 100%+ wasteful Gov would not be doing it and some other company or Yakuza would have taken it over. They should cut the Gov funding and make this group take in donations = if their research is truly important to the populace they will get the money they need for their "research"

    Just keeping 5,000 tons of whale meat refrigerated is a large cost (5,000/40 = 125 ~53' truck trailers worth.

  • -3

    Tamarama

    It doesn't matter what it tastes like - that is completely beside the point. As is the 'traditional practice' or 'culture' argument. Whaling in it's current incarnation is 'traditional' in many countries of the world. In fact, the whaling industry helped found counties like the US and Australia - it's part of their history and culture.

    The moratorium on whaling is about environmental responsibility and global citizenship. Japan can't be bothered with those things for purely selfish and myopic reasons. That's why I object to it. You've got to take a broader view that benefits everyone, not just yourself.

  • 2

    Disillusioned

    Hidingout - no point in making themselves targets for environmental terrorists?

    Now, that is funny and pure rhetoric. I don't ever remember the whale sushi shop in Shibuya being bombed. Do you? They don't sell it because there is no market for it. If it is so popular why is there 5 tons of excess in cold storage? Why are they considering giving it to schools at 10% of the market value just to get rid of it? And if there is 5 tons in cold storage why do they need to kill another thousand whales this year? Riddle me that batman!

    And, a factual word of warning for you and the others that like to eat whale: The Japanese make no distinction between whale and dolphin meat. You will find that most of the rubbish sold in izakaya chains as whale is actually dolphin meat fresh from the ocean off Wakayama, which is full of pesticides, mercury and lots of other yummy stuff and has been deemed unfit for human consumption by WHO. FACT! Suck it up while you can! Enjoy!

  • 0

    25psot

    Watching is better and can last for 1000 years , or it will take only few decades and all is finish,

  • 2

    YankeeX

    Why are they still whaling??

  • -3

    nigelboy

    Good. It seems many are advocating removal of the moratorium, set catch limits, and eliminating government aid. Hell. It's a dying industry, right?

  • 2

    Alex Roncelli

    I want to see proof of this scientific research. Being that we've studied the moon more than our own oceans, it may be interesting to see. Don't buy the lies, Japan. We need to take action as a planet to preserve and protect our oceans and its creatures. Stop killing dolphins and whales!

  • 1

    all4faj

    Now we are getting somewhere, In the end Japan will finish whaling for the same reason that the USA and Australia did, not to save the whale for economic reasons.

  • 0

    Alejandro Dela Cruz

    they should just stop whaling :((

  • -1

    Pukey2

    hidingout:

    Wrong. Many people want to eat it, if its reasonably priced

    Well it's not, so they don't. You just don't seem to understand what people are saying - the whole industry 'loses' money, even if funds earmarked for Tohoku are diverted to it.

    disillusioned:

    You will find that most of the rubbish sold in izakaya chains as whale is actually dolphin meat fresh from the ocean off Wakayama, which is full of pesticides, mercury and lots of other yummy stuff and has been deemed unfit for human consumption by WHO.

    The sad thing is that some school children are forced to eat it. But if hidingout, a fully grown adult, wants to eat it (and spend the money) then (s)he can go right ahead.

  • -1

    all4faj

    Any of you readers with elementary school age children who send their children to a Japanese School should be aware that there is a very good chance that they have eaten it in their school lunches.

  • -1

    Nessie

    Whale meat tastes pretty good and more people would certainly eat it if it were available in shops at a reasonable price - which it isn't in most regions of Japan.

    I see it in two supermarkets near my apartment, labelled as "minku kujira." Usually, it's freezer-burned and quickly marked down to hangaku.

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