Commercial Whaling Restart Produces Hope, Concern in Japan

Society Lifestyle

Taiji/Shimonoseki/Tokyo, July 2 (Jiji Press)--Japan's resumption of commercial whaling on Monday after more than 30 years of suspension is giving rise to hope and concern among people involved.

In the town of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, western Japan, known for its long history of whaling, Yoshifumi Kai of the local fishery cooperative, said ahead of the restart, "People will be able to eat fresher, tastier whale meat," thanks to commercial whaling.

Unlike whaling for research purposes, commercial whaling allows whalers to process the catch to keep it fresh while on the boat, Kai said. The cooperative owns a small whaling ship called Katsumaru No. 7.

The town has been exposed to international debate on whaling. It was once featured in a movie made by people opposed to whaling.

"People in the town live with whales," said a woman who runs an inn in Taiji. "We sometimes feel hurt by public opinion. But we want to attract tourists by making good use" of whaling.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press