By, Uwe Paschen.
The Whale hunt and why it is still being practiced by Japan is more of a generation problem as well as a political one then a necessity or the will of the people at large here.
The Mainichi Daily News Does insist that Japan has the Right to hunt Whales and that this has been part of Japans inherent culture.
Japan does hunt Whales annually for research and redistributes the meat after this "research" is concluded; at least this is the official version here in Japan and internationally. Among the Whales hunted, it does focus mainly on minke whales that are not endangered and fin whales that are endangered.
Some Japanese do adamantly defend this right as part of their culture. These are however the early and late Baby boomer generations holding on to a practice that is long over due and for which there is no real need any longer either. Yet, Whaling is sponsored and maintained by the Government with Taxpayers money, or it could not even survive any longer as an industry.
The Younger generation does not eat Whale meat nor does it visit the few restaurants that still serve it or that are specialized in this type of food. However, the older generation does eat Whale meat, even if only seldom nowadays, they do defend their right to consume it.
Ironically if one goes back in History a little, It was Japan that was strongly opposed to Modern Whaling practices introduced by the Norwegian in the in the Meiji era, Which were regarded as cruel and indiscriminate killing of Whales, Those Whales back then were still regarded as deities of the sea which helped the corral fish.
However, things started changing following the devastation of World War II, as food was scares and famines a constant threat to the Country. Whales being a cheep source of protein became the larger part of the post-war diet. Why the people defending this practice today do so in part because of a deep trauma lying in the past of their Youth or Infancy, called Hunger.
Now, why is it still going on even though it is not even self-sustainable any longer? The reasons are actually simple and more of sociological and demographical nature than a logical one. Japan is an aging Society just as most Industrial Societies are nowadays; the older part of the population outnumbers the Younger part by an increasing factor annually.
This rift is in part due to a falling birth rates, a lack or no net immigration as well as being blessed with the highest life expectancies in the world, at 81.25 years of age as of 2006 and a high population density. Making Japan the world's tenth most populated country in the World today.
This has an immense impact on Politics and Policies alike, since the Baby boomers outnumber the youth, the Youth does not even bother to vote any longer since their voice will just be berried by the Baby Boomers hold on Society. Why Whaling may still be practiced for some time, since it has little to do with common sense any longer and more with demographics.