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Tsunami Recovery Funds Subsidize Japanese Whale Hunt

Tsunami Recovery Funds Subsidize Japanese Whale Hunt

A Greenpeace investigation has forced Japanese officials to admit that they will have diverted a large portion of money earmarked for disaster recovery to subsidize its annual whale hunt.

According to the Guardian, the government used 2.28 billion yen (US$30m) from the earthquake recovery fund, on top of its existing $6m annual subsidy, to pay for this year’s hunt.

“It is absolutely disgraceful for the Japanese government to pump yet more taxpayer money on an unneeded, unwanted and economically unviable whaling programme, when funds are desperately needed for recovery efforts,” said Junichi Sato, the executive director of Greenpeace Japan told the Guardian.

Officially, the funds were delivered to the Japan’s Institute for Cetacean Research (ICR), the agency that runs Japan’s ‘research’ whaling program. This year, the hunt aims to kill 900 minke whales and 50 fin whales in the name of scientific research, even though 100 percent of the meat from the hunt is sold commercially.

The government justified using the disaster recovery money for whaling by claiming it will benefit some coastal towns devastated by this year’s tsunami.

“The government will support the reconstruction effort of a whaling town and nearby areas,” Fisheries Agency official Tatsuya Nakaoku told AFP. “This program can help it reconstruct food-processing plants there… Many people in the area eat whale meat, too. They are waiting for Japan’s commercial whaling to resume.”

Several Japanese groups had written a letter to the prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda, protesting against the use of recovery cash.

“We demand the government not waste any more taxpayers’ money on the whaling program but instead spend this money on projects that actually help the people, communities and region affected by the tragic March 11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis,” the letter said.

Related Reading:

Japan Forced To Suspend Whale Hunt In Antarctica

Humpback Whale’s Amazing Rescue Caught On Tape

Citizen Scientists Needed For Whale Research

Source: Discovery News
Image Credit: Flickr – Greenpeace Finland

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157 comments

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8:14AM PST on Jan 30, 2013

Most Japanese people including my whole family absolutely hate the idea of Whaling!
It is the special interest profiteers who always seem to win even in democracies!
Also much of the tsunami relief money went to wealthy land developers and displaced the very people many believed they were helping!

5:06AM PST on Dec 17, 2012

Can't trust the japanese nor chinese.

12:23AM PDT on Jun 2, 2012

Audrey, we've all known for a long time that the claim by the Japanese that they're conducting research was B.S., no matter how big they paint the word RESEARCH on their vessels. They've yet to publish or provide any results from any "research" done, and how can they be studying stomach contents when they toss all of that over the side of the vessel within 10 minutes of disecting it and cutting up the blubber for meat? The sea is red with the whales' blood and internal organs as this happens.

This year, they've repainted the ships with "JAPANESE GOVERNMENT" on the sides. Guess that's supposed to intimidate the SSCS.

12:12AM PDT on Jun 2, 2012

Having lived in Japan in the '50s, I had a lot of respect for the work ethic and politeness of the population. When they said last year they would stop hunting whales in the Antartic I thought they had learned what the rest of the world thought of those mammals--to be protected. Sadly, they are continuing to slaughter hundreds of whales, using the excuse that it is about "research" of their stomach contents! I hoped that the tsaumai taught them a lesson about gratitude for how the world cared in the loss of so much, but it continues to be but a lie once more on their own PEOPLE. How can the Japanese community there endorse a government who cares so little while many thousands still have no permanent homes? SHAME ON YOU!!

1:28PM PDT on May 20, 2012

when I first heard the Tsunami hit how I hoped and prayed the Yushin whaling fleet was sent to the bottom of the ocean..........sadly not

7:35AM PDT on May 20, 2012

What? A(nother) government so corrupt that it takes much-needed relief funds (given in good faith to its own nation's people) for their nefarious profiteering? This is unheard of.

I almost forgot: Thank you, Japan(ese government) for irradiating our planet, you scumbag liars.

3:46AM PDT on May 20, 2012

In a corrupted world,ruled by greed and money,real heros go to jail!
Money rules and the rest don’t matter…Eat money!

3:44AM PDT on May 20, 2012

I want my money back!!!
Free Captain Paul Watson!A hero who defends harmless beautiful mammals!!!
Japanese government is criminal!!!

12:22PM PDT on May 19, 2012

Absolutely outrageous! What an abuse of people's generosity.

7:47AM PDT on May 19, 2012

My husband and I grieved for the people of Japan after the tsunami. Even though we both are on disability and have difficulty meeting our living expenses we felt that the people of Japan needed help and we donated to a reputable charity. The government of Japan should be so ashamed, for even allowing the whate hunt in the first place, but to take money meant for Japan's own citizens who have suffered through so much is criminal.

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