NEWS

Japanese believe whaling is needed for research

As a foreigner living in Greece, what concerns you most and what have you seen that provides you with hope for this country’s environmental future? I am very much impressed by the beautiful nature. I do envy the mountains, coastline and the islands. It must be a gift from the gods. I hope Greek people maintain this beautiful nature. But there is not enough public awareness. First of all, people put all their garbage together. It is only common sense that the garbage should be sorted at least into two or three types. This has nothing to do with the government or industry, this is citizens. They should be better mobilized and aware. Another area is public transportation. People do not use it enough. Whenever I see the tram, it is always empty. One of the issues that people often talk about in relation to Japan and the environment is whaling. It has been argued that Japanese fleets could conduct their research using non-lethal methods, for instance. future? I do not want to argue the issues as such, but I need to present some information as food for thought. The first issue is whether you see whales as a sea resource or not. This is the starting point of looking at the issue. We see whales as resources just like any other. In the history of whaling, there have been many countries engaged in the hunting of whales. There are two types – America and many European countries hunted huge numbers of whales in the past to extract oil before crude oil was discovered. After crude oil came, they stopped. The other type, which included Japan, hunted whales for food. So, even after crude oil, they continued. The ICC (Whaling Commission) was established with the objective of ensuring the proper utilization of whale stocks. I think it is fair to abide by the regulations set by that organization. The ICC specifically says that research whaling can be conducted. Research on sea resources is necessary to learn about stocks, biology and so on. According to recent research, we know that the number of blue whales is not increasing but other whales, such as minkes, are hugely abundant. My government says that we need to continue this research for another five years.