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Risso's dolphin at surface

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Dead sperm whale in The Wash, East Anglia, England. © CSIP-ZSL.

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Risso's dolphin © Andy Knight

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Fin whale (balaenoptera physalus) Three fin whales Gulf of California.

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A spinner dolphin leaping © Andrew Sutton/Eco2

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Orca (ID171) breaches off the coast of Scotland © Steve Truluck.

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Are the Japanese people growing tired of whaling?

The influential Japanese news title, the Asahi Shimbun, through an editorial, is calling on the Japanese Government to change its whaling strategy. In its editorial of November 1st 2016, titled It’s time for Japan to change its controversial whaling strategy, the paper believes that at this year’s meeting of the International Whaling Commission, ‘Japan appears to have lost more than it gained’.

The paper quite rightly separates out the fact from the fiction as reported by Japanese Fisheries officials, that Japan is now losing more at the IWC than it is gaining, and at huge expense to the Japanese taxpayer. It notes, that,

‘Demand for whale meat in Japan has declined sharply over time. But the government spends several billions of yen annually on subsidies to keep the scientific whaling program alive.’

It goes on to ask,

‘The question that the government should ask itself is whether it can serve Japan’s national interests by sticking to its apparently “dead-end” policy.’

Whilst WDC does not agree that Japan should even continue with its small type commercial whaling as advocated by the Asahi Shimbun, we welcome the fact that Japanese press is finally waking up to the fact that Japanese Government policy on the issue of whaling is simply damaging to Japan and its national interests.

You can see what happened at the 2016 IWC in WDC extensive coverage and you can also find out more about the facts and figures related to whaling.