East Timor president suggests Japan eat fruit, not whales

Simpsons Food Chain by =SpacePlatypus on deviantART

I came across this article and couldn’t resist sharing it as a follow up to my previous post on the Japanese and the whaling issue. According to Kyodo News, East Timorese President Jose Ramos Horta suggested Wednesday that Japanese consumers adopt a fruit-friendly diet and avoid eating whale meat for the next five years. During an address at Australia’s National Press Club, Horta said:

“Humanity, the oceans, cannot continue to sustain Japanese voracious sashimi appetite.’’

Yeah, it’s a pretty cheap shot, and it illustrates a fundamental lack of awareness that your average Japanese consumer really isn’t eating whale meat at all. But it’s kind of hilarious in its inaccuracy. Just another drop in the ocean of criticism of Japan’s whaling policies.

Just to be clear, I’m not especially pro- or anti-whaling. I tend to think that there aren’t very many good reasons to kill whales these days, given the numerous other options for hungry human carnivores. In the more immediate post-World War II period, whale was more commonly eaten in Japan, for understandable reasons–my host mother, for example, remembers it being served as part of her school lunch in elementary school. If Japan really is conducting important research on whales, that might also be important. But it does seem a bit fishy (pardon the semi-pun) that they currently hunt and kill 935 minke whales each year.

But I’m not an expert on the subject. It’d be interesting to find out more.

Read the original (albeit short) article here: E Timor president suggests Japan eat fruit, not whales, for next 5 yrs › Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion.