Currently, it takes some time to respond to comments because I have some other things I have to prioritize.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Scrutinize an anti-whaling article (written in March, 2011)

Underlined parts will be discussed later. If you are in a hurry, please skip to the middle of this post.

                                                                                                                                                                   
*Excerpt from The Epoc Times - Japan Struggles to Keep Controversial Whaling Industry Alive*
   
Despite relentless battles with conservation groups, Japan’s whale hunt for research continues annually. Japan argues the research is to track whale populations in support of their bid to lift the ban on commercial whaling. However, there is dispute within the research community on the relevance of that research.

Last year, Japan caught and killed 507 whales for research, and the whale meat was then sold in Japan for consumption. Although there is a ban on commercial whaling, it is stipulated by the 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling that any whales caught for research should then be processed and sold.

Last week Japanese whaling ships left the Antarctic Ocean, cutting short this season’s research expedition. Hampered by conservation group Sea Shepherd, the Japanese fleet caught only 172 of their targeted 850 whales (plus or minus 10 percent). For the last seven years Sea Shepherd has used its fleet to physically block the whaling ships.

The international body governing whaling, the International Whaling Commission (IWC), allows whaling for scientific study. However the value of the research conducted by Japan’s government-led Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) is not subject to peer review. The International Whaling Commission does not require Japan to prove the value of its research.

The moratorium on commercial whaling was put in place by the IWC in 1982 because of a lack of scientific data on the precise status of whale stocks. Japan’s ICR says the purpose of its research is to “resolve the lack of scientific evidence concerning Antarctic minke whales.”
According ICR, their research on minke whales includes information “such as age at sexual maturity, age at physical maturity, growth curve, blubber thickness, and stomach content change over the years.”

After studying the genetics, biology, and body shape of minkes, ICR concluded there are two large stocks in the research area in the Antarctic, where there were originally believed to be six. ICR says it needs to therefore monitor changes in the Antarctic ecosystem to understand how the whales adapt to shifts in the ecosystem, “to provide scientific basis for comprehensive management of whale resources.”

However, some marine biologists doubt the connection between the lethal research ICR is carrying out, and its stated research goals.

Dr. Phillip Clapham, who heads the Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program at the National Marine Mammal Laboratory in Seattle, says only a small portion of the ICR’s research is relevant to whale population management.

The ICR produces “a plethora of papers that concern topics of no relevance to [whale population] management, and which frequently focus on (to put it mildly) arcane topics. For example, serum biochemistry of minke whales may be academically interesting to some, but it has no application to assessing the status of whale populations,” wrote Clapham in an e-mail.

Clapham is also on the Scientific Committee of the IWC, as one of the commission’s 200 advisers who review the science and rules that govern whaling.

The controversy over scientific whaling has been a long struggle between pro- and anti-whaling member-nations of the commission.

In 2005, Japan proposed a new research plan arguing the need to expand their study of whales because the Antarctic’s ecosystem is undergoing change. Sixty-three scientists representing 16 of the 30 members of the IWC signed a paper contesting the claims in Japan’s research proposal.

Japan’s research whaling activities is the single most controversial issue within the IWC, often dividing the organization into two camps.
“The tragedy for the scientists involved in the debate on scientific whaling is that they are labeled as either pro- or anti-whalers. This impugns objectivity and relegates any discussion to polarized politics,” wrote Clapham and three co-authors Nicholas Gales, Toshio Kasuya, and Robert Brownell Jr. in the June 2005 edition of the journal Nature.

In 2007, the commission passed a resolution calling on the government of Japan to refrain from issuing a permit for scientific whaling.

Japan fears that if its research into whale populations stops, the ban on commercial whaling will never be lifted.


Despite the long history of eating whale in Japan, domestic demand for whale meat is low. Even so, according to Shigeki Takaya of Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, last year Japan imported an additional 400 tons of whale meat from Iceland. That is in addition to the 3,500 to 4,500 tons of meat Japan has caught for research each year for the last five years. Japan also imported whale meat from Norway up until two years ago when Norway stopped exports.

Whale meat is commonly available in Japanese supermarkets and restaurants. The meat is sold smoked, canned, and frozen as well as raw for sashimi. At the low end, whale meat retails for approximately $25 per pound. Tuna, by comparison, sells for about $16 per pound on average, making whale not cheap, but certainly affordable for middle-class Japanese consumers.


There is evidence that ancient Japanese ate whale as far back as the Jomon period (7000–8000 to 3000 B.C.). Much later, in the 17th century, whale catching advanced with use of nets and at that point consumption of whale became widespread. In post-World War II Japan the scarcity of food led to an increase in consumption of whale, and it became a staple of the Japanese diet


Keeping the tradition of whale eating alive is not just controversial; it’s expensive. According to a Feb. 20 report by the Daily Yomiuri newspaper, Japan’s research whaling costs an estimated $72 million annually. The three harpoon ships, one factory ship, and other refrigerator and refueling ships have a combined crew of 180 people. The Japanese government provides a $10 million subsidy for the research. The rest of the cost is offset primarily through the sale of whale meat. With only 172 whales caught this year, and 507 last year, out of an annual target of 850, there is much less meat to sell to help recover costs.

Japanese officials at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries have studied potential scenarios for next season, according the Daily Yomiuri article. One option considered was to have Japan’s coast guard escort the fleet, but no coast guard ships can make the trip to the Antarctic. Building faster whaling vessels was also considered, but the cost is prohibitive. The other options considered are to get the IWC to reopen commercial whaling, to continue with the status quo, or to end whaling in the Antarctic Ocean.
*Excerpt ends*
                                                                                                                                                                    

Let’s begin with “Despite relentless battles with conservation groups, Japan’s whale hunt for research continues annually.”

“Battles” sound like there was an exchange of attacks between Japan’s research vessels and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
The truth is that the research vessels have never attacked SSCS. All the  Japanese vessels have are methods for self-defense like water hose.
On the other hand, SSCS has used harmful bottles of liquid – harmful both to human being and the very environment the organization allegedly has been trying to protect.
SSCS has used other environmentally-unfriendly weapons like combustible rockets, which sinks into the sea when they miss the Japanese research vessels.
In conclusion, it is “one-sided violence” rather than “battles” between two groups.
  

“For the last seven years Sea Shepherd has used its fleet to physically block the whaling ships.”
 Is it something admirable? Why doesn’t he/she mention the obvious illegality of the series of conducts?
  

“However, there is dispute within the research community on the relevance of that research.”
“Japan’s government-led Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) is not subject to peer review. The International Whaling Commission does not require Japan to prove the value of its research. “
“Serum biochemistry of minke whales may be academically interesting to some, but it has no application to assessing the status of whale populations,” wrote Clapham in an e-mail.”

ICR’s research called JARPA was actually reviewed by IWC and proved its validity.
According to ICR, the most recent JARPA review by the IWC's Scientific Committee in December 2006 concluded as follows.
  
[The dataset provides a valuable resource to allow investigation of some aspects of the role of whales within the marine ecosystem and that this has the potential to make an important conntribution to the Scientific Committee's work in this regard as well as the work of other relevant bodies such as the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and,
the results from the research program have the potential to improve management of minke whales in the Southern Hemisphere.]


“ICR concluded there are two large stocks in the research area in the Antarctic, where there were originally believed to be six.”

The writer found a piece of information that can mislead readers, but he/she never says whether the number of minke whales is decreasing. Either because of the lack of data (proves the necessity of further research) or there’s a concrete fact that the number is actually increasing (moratorium on commercial whaling is no longer needed). The writer would gladly use if there’s rigid evidence in support of his/her statements.

Here's an additional piece of information. According to a statement made in 1992 by IWC, the number of minke whales in the Antarctic Ocean won’t decrease even if 2000 of them are captured annually. 


 “The controversy over scientific whaling has been a long struggle between pro- and anti-whaling member-nations of the commission.”

It is presumable that the question on the relevance of the research was provided by “a part” of “anti-whaling” members of IWC.
“Those who claim themselves to be “anti-whaling” who in fact indulge themselves in the status quo” might be truer.


“Japan fears that if its research into whale populations stops, the ban on commercial whaling will never be lifted.”

Japan does fear, yes, after the organization started losing its original goal to pursue sustainable whaling. Canada is one of the countries who left the organization after he witnessed the distortion of the original goal.
Although it might be easier to leave IWC to conduct commercial whaling, I insist that the Japanese government stay there for the original goal in order to pursue sustainable whaling which I think is equivalent to advocating the importance to respect different cultures.


“The Japanese government provides a $10 million subsidy for the research. The rest of the cost is offset primarily through the sale of whale meat. With only 172 whales caught this year, and 507 last year, out of an annual target of 850, there is much less meat to sell to help recover costs.”

It is obvious that the Japanese government is trying to “maintain its culture” of whaling despite the current deficit of it.
If it were for profit, the government would have stopped whaling long ago.
Why doesn’t he/she mention the necessity of compensation from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, the USA and Australia? Those who violated international laws and those who support the outlaws.
Don’t you think the writer has a perspective very much in favor of anti-whalings? Or am I the only one feeling this way?
 

“One option considered was to have Japan’s coast guard escort the fleet, but no coast guard ships can make the trip to the Antarctic. Building faster whaling vessels was also considered, but the cost is prohibitive. The other options considered are to get the IWC to reopen commercial whaling, to continue with the status quo, or to end whaling in the Antarctic Ocean.”

The writer doesn’t talk about the possibility of Japan’s withdrawal from IWC. It’s the last option, but there’s the possibility.
Can any of you come up with a good reason why he/she didn’t mention it?
Let me guess, the present situation is the most lucrative situation for what is called “environmental activists,” and the choice of withdrawal would result in the least profitable situation for them.

The more I read this kind of articles, the more convinced I become that anti-whaling, or anti-Japan, is very much lucrative for certain people.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Giant Panda - symbol of China?

In 1972, Japan and China normalized their diplomatic relationship. As tokens of friendship, the Communist Party of China gifted two giant pandas to Ueno Zoo in Tokyo.
The incident triggered what is called “panda boom” here in Japan and it’s no exaggeration that the media frantically broadcasted every single day of them.



CPC has utilized the giant panda as a diplomatic method (called “panda diplomacy”) to enhance international relationship.
When the two pandas were accepted by Japan, China was experiencing the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, which hideously damaged China’s international reputation.
The two pandas, at least partially, worked out to improve Japanese people’s impression toward China.

Another two pandas arrived at Ueno Zoo on February 21, 2011. What is assumable is that the Communist Party of China has sensed Japanese people's deteriorated impression of China, and the government tried another "Panda Diplomacy" on Japan.

This time the situation is a little different. Japan will pay about 900,000 dollars to China annually, and it's 10 years long contract between Japan and China rather than a gift from China.
In case a panda dies during the ten years contract, Japan must compensate for the loss with some 550,000 dollars. If the couple of giant panda happen to give birth to babies, Japan must hand them over to China.
I wonder if this contract is financially viable.


 
Nowadays, the giant panda is internationally acknowledged as a Chinese national treasure, and it’s recognized as a symbol of China.

However, there are some noteworthy facts about the giant panda in relation to Tibet.
Do you know where most giant pandas live?
Qinling Mountains in the Southern part of Shaanxi province.
Southern area of Gansu Province.
Min Mountains in the northern area of Sichuan Province.
The giant panda is said to predominantly live in the areas given above.

These areas are regarded as China’s territory or at least CPC claims so. However, when Tibet was still a sovereign country, the areas were just around the boarder between China and Tibet. Some people insist that most giant pandas live in Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture which used to be a part of Tibet until 1955.

Location of Ngawa
Habitat of the giant panda
The exact habitat of the giant panda is out of my jurisdiction, but there’s no doubting the fact that the giant panda used to be populated in Tibet too.
As you can see in the map bellow, Tibet was gradually invaded by China finally to be conquered in 1965. What is now called “Tibet Autonomous Region” is just one region of Tibet that fought to the end against China.
The sequence of the invasion of Tibet


Name of the region Annexation Population Tibetan proportion
1. Tenzhu Tibetan Autonomous County 1950 220,000    29.87%
2. Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture 1953 640,000    51.44%
3. Muli Tibetan Autonomous County 1955 130,000    32.39%
4. Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous           Prefecture 1955 850,000    53.72%
5. Qinghai Province 1955 5,090,000    20.90%
6. Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture 1957 880,000    78.37%
7. Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture 1957 350,000    33.12%
8. Tibet Autonomous Region 1965 2,670,000    93.00%

The above picture and the data from http://tibet.turigane.com/tibetpanda.html

Taking into account of the historical facts, the acknowledgement of the giant panda solely as a Chinese national treasure is equivalent to the justification of the China’s past and ongoing invasion of Tibet.
I can not and should not deny that the giant panda is a Chinese national treasure, but we must recognize the panda as a Tibetan national treasure at the same time. Otherwise, we will indirectly contribute to the justification of China’s invasion of Tibet.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

NZ earth quake and the media

On February 24, two Japanese "journalists" were arrested over night when they tried to enter Christchurch Hospital to interview victims of the earthquake.
After the earthquake in the area, the police established a cordon, and curfew was put.
Anyone without a valid ID was to be arrested at that time.

According to New Zealand Press association, "the incident, which happened overnight, was referred to police and the pair were subsequently arrested."
So they gave trouble to both the hospital and the local police - in the busiest time.
Let me apologize to them for what the Japanese journalists did.

I could easily find several online articles dealing with the incident in English.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10708443
http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/8215788/two-reporters-arrested-in-christchurch
http://news.msn.co.nz/article/8215966/two-reporters-arrested-in-christchurch
http://www.hawkesbaytoday.co.nz/local/news/christchurch-earthquake-two-japanese-journalists-a/3941853/
http://kiwi247.com/news/christchurch-earthquake-two-journalists-arrested

On the other hand, there was only one article written in Japanese by a Japanese online news site.
Judging from the articles I found on the site, it's pro-internet and supports the voices on the internet.  http://www.j-cast.com/2011/02/24088938.html?ly=cm&p=1
Of course it's not funded by major broadcasting companies.

The two journalists somehow thought "the freedom to broadcast" could override the local law to be undoubtedly respected, and then the Japanese media unanimously chose "the freedom not to broadcast" probably because the majority of the Japanese media often take the same kind of actions as the two did.

Here's a story about the Great Hanshin earthquake.
When there was a great earthquake in Japan, the Japanese media mobilized as many helicopters as possible not for the rescue, but to exercise their "freedom to broadcast."
Subsequently, the rescuers had hard time hearing groans of the people buried alive.
Can we not say the media indirectly killed the victims by exercising their "freedom to broadcast"?

What's interesting here is that there are numerous Japanese blogs dealing with the incident in Japanese, and all of them condemn the journalists and the mass media as a whole.
Unfortunately, the misuse of the right to broadcast is often observable among the Japanese media and was no wonder for the Japanese bloggers that the journalists, in the name of the freedom of broadcasting, violated the law.
The media used to be able to conceal this kind of inconvenient truth about themselves, but it's no longer the case.  Let's see how long they will persist in the way they are now.

Do you know the enemy?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Green float - the environmental island

Shimizu corporation proposes an innovative plan.

The company plans to construct floating cities in the equatorial area on the Pacific ocean.
According to Shimizu corporation, the equatorial area is rarely troubled by typhoons, and floating cities can expect the greatest benefits from the sunshine.
The company has been conducting comprehensive studies together with Super Collaborative Graduate School (I wonder why the name sounds so fishy), and Nomura Securities, and they plan to establish the first floating city by 2025. 2025... it make me feel so hopeful. I'll definitely visit the city as soon as it comes true (I hope it'll be affordable).


Residential areas located between 700 to 1000 above the sea level are expected to have 26-28 degrees centigrade throughout year, and each has the capacity of 30000 people.
On the other hand, 10000 people are expected to live near the water side. Sounds like the matter of economic gap creeps into this dreamlike project too.

As it is named "Green Float", the total amount of CO2 emission will go minus thanks to it's environmentally friendly structure.

Wastes from the residential areas at the top will be reused as fertilizer in the lower layers where vegetables are produced, and extractable remnants are used again in the area close to the sea level to grow grains and live stock. Finally, they reach the sea and feed the fish.

In addition, the Green Float will collect garbage floating on the Pacific ocean and take it into the ecocycle.


I hope, some day in the near future, the Green Float will blossom around the world like water lilies.


Movie about the Green Float (sorry all I could find were in Japanese)



Visit the following website for details (written in English).
http://www.shimz.co.jp/english/theme/dream/greenfloat.html





Saturday, February 19, 2011

ICR and SSCS

ICR (the Institute of Cetacean Research) was established in 1987 as a specialized organization to conduct cetacean research.
The organization started JAPRA (Japanese Whale Research Program under Special Permit in the Antarctic), and whaling was conducted as a part of the research.

According to ICR, the most recent JARPA review by the IWC's Scientific Committee in December 2006 concluded as follows.

"the dataset provides a valuable resource to allow investigation of some aspects of the role of whales within the marine ecosystem and that this has the potential to make an important conntribution to the Scientific Committee's work in this regard as well as the work of other relevant bodies such as the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources" and,
"the results from the research program have the potential to improve management of minke whales in the Southern Hemisphere"

As the result of the dedicated research, ICR received the authorization by IWC to conduct another series of study called JAPRAII.
Visit the official website of IRC (English ) for more details. Abundant data is available on the webpage.


On February 18, IRC decided to return its research vessel from the Antarctic due to the repeated and illegal attacks inflicted by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Because of the SSCS's illegal acts, the lawful research of the Japanese vessel was ceased.
SSCS's ship rams the Japanese research vessel
When I saw the picture above, it reminded me of something, something unforgettable.



They are driven by different motives, but they share one thing in common - they are both outlaws.


The Australian government has been gladly allowing the SSCS to use one of its port, and thus he deserves condemnation.
The American government, who has been tolerating the tax exemption for SSCS, needs to order the organization to respect the international law if he wants to claim himself as the world's police.
I don't think it's worthwhile to explain the illegality of SSCS's activities.

Finally, I need to mention those who support SSCS without enough knowledge on what has been done by the organization. It's quite likely that the supporters are good people who love nature, but I'm obliged to state the following.
They need to truly appreciate the organization before they start supporting it. Without the prerequisite, it turns into mere masturbation. As to the people who support SSCC knowing all the facts, I admit that the prospect of changing their minds is not much. I wish there was a good way to understand their logic.

I wonder why these "environmental activists" don't invest donated money in scientific study to prove ICR's dataset to be incorrect and demand ICR's research to be stopped, instead of coming all the way to Japan to give the fishery a crossfire.
Can any of you feel their respect to the Japanese man?

"Love begins by taking care of the closest ones - the ones at home."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

UndertakerRach's website

I added a link to another website.
He/she established the website just around the same time I did, and I couldn't help sympathizing with the person. Whether the person is Japanese or not, it's my duty and great honor to support the person who's been speaking up for Japan.
The website mainly deals with the issues between Japan and China, and you will be able to take a look at historical incidents from a different view.

Quote begins
In Nov. 1937, during the Battle of Nanking, the Nationalist Party established The International Propaganda Section (IPS). According to the top-secret document entitled “Outline of International Propaganda Operations,” the IPS held 300 press conferences in Hankou between Dec 1, 1937 and Oct 24, 1938. (Part2) About 35 foreign journalists and diplomats attended there. However, Chinese didn’t explain the fact which was so-called the Nanking Massacre even once during any of these 300 conferences was a statement or announcement. Quote ends

This is just a piece of information from the tremendous work on the website.
I believe UndertakerRach's website is worth visiting and there's no doubt about it.
Click here↑or the link on the right side to visit the website.

I heartily hope that more and more Japanese people will take actions for the dignity of the nation.
"Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country. "(I wish there was a Japanese politician brave enough to say the same.)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Asia Cup 2011 +

There was a soccer game between the Japanese national team and the South Korean one. Each team scored one during the regular 90 minutes, and the game went into overtime in which
Japan scored with a penalty kick. Then South Korea scored just before the end of the overtime. I was concerned about having a shoot-out because in the World Cup 2010, the Japanese national failed the shoot-out in the match with Paraguay.

Too my astonishment, Japan won the shoot-out by 3-0.
Kawashima the demigod had an inspirational performance.

He blocked shots two times, and the third shot went outside the goal.
I felt very much relieved by the result, and now I can declare that the team has overcome the trauma.

Good luck with the final game and may the better one win.


Apart from the game itself, I need to mention something that is related to the game.
One of the South Korean players Ki Sung-Yueng imitated monkey after he scored. The act meant a lot to South Koreans.
What is said is that the act is used as a contempt for the Japanese.
Knowing that the act would devalue the game, Park Ji-Sung tried to calm down the player.

Ki Sung-Yueng 's explanation was that there was a Kyokujitsu-ki, the Rising Sun Flag, prepared by Japanese supporters.
Kyokujitsu-ki means a kind of flag first used by Japanese army in 1870s, and then adopted by navy in 1889.

Actually, it's still used by the Japan Self-Defense Forces.


Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
Japan Ground Self-Defense Forces
                           
The flag is used in other ways too. For example, as a big-catch flag by fishermen, so Kyokujitsu-ki doesn't necessarily mean militarism for the Japanese. During national games, it turns into a flag for victory. It has been repeatedly used by Japanese supporters during national games. In other words, it's a Japanese culture to wave Kyokujitsu-ki on certain occasions. 

What matters is that the South Korean do not know different cultural aspects of the flag other than militaristic one. If the player truly appreciated the meaning of the flag, he would have known that the justification would not be strong enough.


If only the flag had the sole meaning to represent the militarism during WWII, he could have blamed the supporters for doing propaganda during a sports game.

Whether he just made up as what he thought could use as a justification doesn't matter.
Anyone in a representative possession has certain rules to obey.
In my opinion, he violated the rule largely due to the distorted education offered by the government, and partly because of his misled passion.

After the player's excuse for his act, a TV company called TV Asahi used the following picture as if the flag had been displayed during the game against South Korea. As you can easily guess from the Dutch flag in the picture on the left, the picture in fact was taken during 2010 World Cup.
What it implies is that TV Asahi tried to support the South Korean player by using a misleading picture. If there had been a Kyokujitsu-ki in the match against South Korea, I'm sure the TV company would have gladly used the picture from the game.

I often wonder how severely Japan had been distorted by the media until the internet started working as a surveillance network.
Maybe to some people I look like paranoiac, but I believe anyone who has read through my blog will understand my fear based on unshakable facts.

1
Magnified picture
Let me give you an additional piece of information, "Japan Times" is designed by "Asahi News Paper", the same Asahi.

It is presumable that "Japan Times" which is published by Asahi, who evasively - many times obviously - favors Korea and China, degrades Japan intentionally.

It's a true irony that "Asahi" which refers to "the rising sun", tried to use the rising sun flag to degrade Japan only to degrade himself in the end.

The series of games in Asia cup were so dramatic and encouraging to me, and the Japanese national team became the champion for the 4th time :D
Congratulations and thanks for the great games!


I hope Kagawa will recover from the injury soon. One of the most moving scenes was when he kissed the flag on the uniform after he scored.