Thursday, 27 November 2014

Japan likens anti-whaling campaign to attempt to ban kimono

Tokyo’s chief negotiator at the International Whaling Commission attacks ‘eco-imperialist’ countries who want a ‘stupid’ ban on hunting

Justin McCurry in Tokyo

Wednesday 26 November 2014 18.29 GMT

Australia’s “imperialist” campaign against whaling is akin to restricting the right of Japanese women to wear the kimono, the country’s chief negotiator at the International Whaling Commission has said.

Joji Morishita, the head of Tokyo’s delegation to the International Whaling Commission, said Japan would defy “eco-imperialist” anti-whaling countries – led by Australia and New Zealand – and resume the slaughter of whales in the Southern Ocean in late 2015.

In March the International Court of Justice ruled that Japan had produced insufficient scientific data to justify the killing of whales for “research” and put an immediate end to its hunts in the Antarctic.

Morishita said international objections to whaling, partly on the grounds that the hunts are unprofitable and bankrolled by Japanese taxpayers – could be compared to restrictions on the wearing of kimono.

“The average Japanese woman wears kimono perhaps two or three times in her lifetime,” he said. “Those ceremonial kimono cost millions of yen, so some might argue that they are a waste of money. But what if another country then said that only a small number of women could wear kimono?”

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