Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Escalation in the fight over Japanese whaling

The stealth boat that anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd used to track the Japanese whaling fleet has been sliced up by a Japanese vessel providing security for the fleet. Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd said the act "escalates the situation." Fortunately, the ship's crew survived, but the million-dollar ship clearly is out of commission. As usual, Japan considers its actions justified given that the Sea Shepherd ship is accused of physically obstructing a whaling vessel and lobbing acid bombs at it.

This development does seem to escalate the so-called Whale Wars, but will it result in anything positive? This editorial in the Sydney Morning Herald calls on the Australian government to do something to stop the "intolerable" determination of the Japanese to kill almost 1,000 whales even if human lives are at risk. I hope the Australian government does step up its efforts, as governments have a better chance of resolving the issue. After this incident I don't think the Japanese government will be too receptive to NGO opinions on the matter.

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