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All posts copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le.
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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

January 12, 2006

Written by C.N.

Japanese Again Defy Whaling Bans

What is up with Japan these days? Everywhere I look, I come across more and more examples that the Japanese are intent on deliberately antagonizing and alienating its Asian neighbors and the international community on various social issues. First, it’s the Japanese Prime Minister’s ongoing visits to a war shrine to honor Japanese war criminals during World War II. Then it’s the apparent rise of right-wing Japanese nationalism and xenophobia against South Korea and China.

And the latest news item is Japan’s continuing defiance of international bans on the hunting of whales. As reported by AFB/Yahoo News, Japanese whaling ships are currently skirmishing with Greenpeace boats that are trying to prevent them from completing their whaling mission:

The Arctic Sunrise and another Greenpeace ship, Esperanza, have been shadowing the Japanese whaling fleet since December 21, attempting to disrupt the hunt by putting activists in small inflatables between the harpooners and the whales.

The International Whaling Commission imposed a moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986 but Japan has continued hunting for what it calls scientific research — a claim rejected by critics. Despite international protests, Japan has this year more than doubled its planned catch of minke whales to 935 and added 10 endangered fin whales, with plans to eventually lift the number to 50, along with 50 rare humpback whales.

It is curious why at a time when other Asian countries are increasingly integrating themselves into the international mainstream and opening themselves up — albeit very gradually — to cross-cultural and cross-ethnic relations and influences, with its neighbors, Japan seems to be the only country that is doing the exact opposite — increasingly alienating, antagonizing, and shunning its neighbors and the international community.

If I didn’t know better, I might say that Japan is increasingly acting like the U.S. . . .

Author Citation

Copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le. Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Japanese Again Defy Whaling Bans" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <> ().

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