Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Friday, February 8, 2008

Polls Show Japanese Citizens Support Whaling

Back on January 5, we posted a story with one person's point of view that Japanese citizens themselves did not support their government's position on whaling.

Looks like that person was wrong.

Nearly two-thirds of Japanese support the country's much-criticized whaling program, a poll showed Friday, reflecting growing sentiment in the country that the international anti-whaling campaign is fueled by Western cultural bias.

The Asahi newspaper said 65 percent of respondents to a telephone survey favored the hunts, while 21 percent said they were opposed. Three-quarters of the men surveyed supported whaling, versus 56 percent of the women, it said.

The poll also said 56 percent of the 2,082 people surveyed supported using whales for food, versus 26 percent who did not. The poll, conducted Feb. 2-3, did not offer a margin of error....

Animal rights movements in general have gained little support in Japan, where many see the anti-whaling campaign as an attempt by Westerners to impose their cultural values on the Japanese.

I am still waiting for someone to explain to me how this is a cultural value. If this is for Japanese culture, there should be ceremony, worship and festivity surround the sacrifice of the whales. Or maybe they never did that because this was never really a matter of cultural relevance, but economic endeavor, something other countries have grown out of. Were they using whaling ships of this size and this technology since the beginning of Japanese history? Were they researching whales for commercial purposes in the 17th century? Somehow, I doubt it.

The more I write this blog, the more cynical I become.

Photo by timtak.

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