By Eric Robinson
Do you remember seeing the sadistic fishing methods the Japanese notoriously used to rape the world’s oceans to feed their picky citizens? The Japanese use five mile long and very wide drift nets that wipe out and drown all sea animals, turtles, dolphins, sharks, anything in the water within it’s mammoth reach, then discarding these undesireable dead animals back into the ocean, only to keep their prized tuna. Perhaps you saw scenes on documentaries of Japanese hauling huge beautiful sharks onto the decks of their massive fishing boats, and ripping off the fins of the animal, and once again discarding the live shark back into the salt water to die a slow, horrific death, so they can enjoy their $60 per bowl shark fin soup. Perhaps you remember the sobering statistics of Japanese harpooning all sorts of whales the world over into near extinction, until the world, orchestrated by Greenpeace, put a stop to it in 1986.
Since 1989, Japan has donated over $23.5 million dollars to Costa Rica to build schools, and aquaducts, hospital equipment, and even buy musical instruments for the Nacional Symphony Orchestra, but in the last few months their donations have reached an almost feverish pace with press releases flowing like a strong river.
I guess this begs the question: Why? Conservation experts here in Costa Rica are skeptical since the recent upturn in donations coincides with an upcoming vote of the International Whaling Commission in June on whether or not to resume commercial whale hunting.
Since the whaling ban over twenty years ago, the Japanese have long contended that they would (this time) practise sustainable whaling. But the joke is on Japan, as Costa Rica is twenty years behind on it’s dues to the whaling commission, and must pay up in order to regain its voting status.
According to Greenpeace, since the whaling ban, Japan has been lobbying lots of small countries with generous (and not so subtle) donations in order to gain votes in favor of lifting the moratorium. After numerous donations from Japan, Nicaragua, for example, voted to lift the ban in 2006, much to the disappointment of environmental groups.
A Japanese spokesperson said that they owe much to the USA for building their infrastructure since World War II (not to mention the thanks for Hiroshima and Nagasaki) but because the USA does not need help, they want to help underprivileged countries, and their donations have nothing to do with their aspirations to resume whaling.
Who do you believe, the gutless Japanese who still continue the cruel practice of shark finning, who needed to be stopped by international forces to cease drift netting, and needed to be stopped by international forces before they brought several species of whales to extinction, or the volunteers at Greenpeace?