Japan has now admitted to killing 333 whales in a recent Antarctic Ocean hunt, which is appalling in its cruelty. Many of them also have pregnant female whales. This behavior has aroused criticism and condemnation from people all over the world. Why does Japan want to kill whales?
Among them are 200 pregnant female whales, which are officially hunted for 'scientific' purposes. Despite the international outcry, Japan's whaling population this year has grown significantly compared with 252 in 2014.
As early as March 2014, the International Court of justice ordered Japan to stop scientific whaling in Antarctic waters. Since then, Japan has conducted only visual surveys, but resumed whaling at the end of 2015. In 2016, Japan's whaling ship returned from the Antarctic waters and brought back more than 300 minke whales killed this time. Of the 333 minke whales killed by the Japanese whaling ship, 103 were males and 230 females, 90% of whom were pregnant.
Why does Japan continue to violate international regulations? There are several reasons.
First: whaling is to inherit Japanese traditional culture
In fact, many Japanese privately believe that "investigating whaling" is just a cover because whale meat is mainly used for commercial circulation. Perhaps because of this, Japan pays less attention to the scientific significance of whaling and more attention to the Japanese traditional culture for the international anti whaling voice.
Some people have defended Japan's whaling activities from the perspective of food culture, accusing anti whalers of discriminating against Japanese food traditions. From the perspective of whaling tradition, some people also claim that once the whaling is stopped, the whaling technology lasting for thousands of years will be lost.
Second: the special complex of whale meat
After the Second World War, there was a food crisis in Japan. At the same time, the logistics and preservation technology developed further. Whale meat became an important meat to replace the shortage of beef and pork. Whale steak, whale meat curry and so on gradually came to people's table. For a long time after the war, 'whale meat' and other fish products were regarded as substitutes for low prices, and became one of the important ingredients for protein in Japanese diet. In 1958, the production of whale meat was about 138000 tons, reaching 226000 tons in 1962. For people who grew up in the postwar era, there was a bias and aversion towards whale meat, which was "substitute, cheap". At the same time, it was also easy to cause the feelings of "nostalgia".
Third: all kinds of Japanese whale meat dishes
In Japan, in addition to some old shops specializing in whale food, in many restaurants, dishes made of whale meat are also often seen. "Whale meat sashimi", "whale meat sushi roll", "whale meat salad", "whale meat curry" and so on. It's also common to use different parts of whales for processing. In addition, because of the low fat characteristics of whale meat, it is also used in hospital catering, as an important food for dietotherapy. In order to promote consumption, some school meals will also use whale meat. In Japan, the catering and processing extended from whaling has formed a certain scale of industrial chain.