Human Interaction

Whale Wars Is It Right to Pressure Japanese Whaling?

posted: 05/15/12

Animal Planet presents this feature as a conversation with legal scholars. We draw no conclusions, other than that reasonable legal minds differ on these issues.

DR. CHARLOTTE EPSTEIN: "So on all the big international issues, you know, they [the Japanese] haven't waged any wars, they haven't sent any armies anywhere. They've been good in sending aid to people. And there is the sense that, you know, 'We've done everything you expected of us — enough is enough. This is one issue on which we will not become like you. We will continue to do things the way we see fit.'"

DR. BILL HOGARTH: "You know, Japan takes a lot of heat. Japan's not the only whaling that's out of the IWC, but Japan takes a lot of heat. And so I think Japan would like to see the pressure off. I think they'd like to whale and have a normal whaling, you know, life, so to speak.

"And so I think it's to their benefit to get some of the pressure off and not have all the controversy, all the news media, all the things that taking place. I know the U.S. wouldn't like to have pressure everyday on one of its actions it's taken. And I think Japan feels like, well, the IWC gave us the right to do it. We're doing it, but we are getting a lot of abuse. And they take it for all the whaling. Japan is the symbol for all whaling."

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