I am an Australian who donated to the Japanese tsunami relief fund. I am disgusted that the Japanese fisheries agency is using [¥2.3 billion from an extra budget for tsunami reconstruction] to fund the hunting of whales. In Australia it has taken a long time for the Japanese to lose the World War II stigma of being cruel and barbaric toward prisoners of war. So, what has changed?
My grandfather hated Japan with a passion because of his wartime experiences. Now the second and third generations of my family feel the same way. Who do the Japanese think they are coming into our protected waters and killing these magnificent creatures that love and care for one another?
When I have met young Japanese people, they know nothing of the way the Japanese military treated our prisoners of war and don’t know why so many old people here are so suspicious of them. I think Japan has trouble with the truth. I am hoping that ordinary Japanese people can open their eyes to what their country is doing.
The dolphin slaughter at Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, is also a big issue. Do the Japanese people have empathy, or is that something that they missed out on?
The Australian government may be too gutless to send a navy ship down into the Southern Ocean to stop the whalers. Let me tell you, though, that the Australian people are ready to stand up for these wonderful animals. We support the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in what they do. I offer apologies ahead of time for having to bring up this issue with any Japanese that I meet. Please stand up to this barbaric industry.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.