December 8th, 2011
01:15 AM ET

Japan says some tsunami reconstruction funds are going to whaling

The Japanese government has affirmed that $29 million from its budget for post-earthquake and tsunami reconstruction is going toward extra security measures for the country's whaling fleet, angering environmental activists like Greenpeace.

The whaling industry is "siphoning money away from the victims of the March 11 triple disaster, at a time when they need it most," Junichi Sato, executive director of Greenpeace Japan, said this week, referring to the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis that struck Japan in March.

But Tatsuya Nakaoku, an official from the Japanese Fisheries Agency, said Thursday he funds would help "support the reconstruction of a whaling town and nearby area," which was devastated by the natural disasters.

"Many people in the area eat whale meat," he said. "They are waiting for Japan's commercial whaling to resume and it is their hope for recovery."

The government had said earlier this year, after it passed the tsunami reconstruction budget, that it would strengthen "measures against acts of sabotage by anti-whaling groups," Nakaoku said.

The government earmarked a total of 498.9 billion yen ($6.4 billion) of the reconstruction budget for spending on fisheries. Of that, 2.28 billion yen has been put into extra security measures for the whaling fleet, which left port for its annual hunt Tuesday.

Japan's whale hunts are conducted by the Institute of Cetacean Research, a nonprofit research organization overseen by Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

An official from the Japanese Coast Guard said the deployment of guards this year to protect the fleet from obstruction by anti-wh

Post by:
Filed under: Japan • World
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I tried to post a comment, but the computer rejected it.
    I wonder whether the filter could be programmed to promote Greenpeace or not.

    December 8, 2011 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    My comment was rejected because I tried to say that the
    Nese Fisheries Agency was right and Greenpeace was wrong.
    What a filthy, offensive mouth I must have to want to say

    December 8, 2011 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
  3. leeintulsa

    NI! NI!

    December 8, 2011 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
  4. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    My first, rejected comment included my opinion that human lives are more important than those of any other animals.

    December 8, 2011 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
  5. gung hoe

    Jif have you ever watched them on tv they poach they do not do things legal

    December 8, 2011 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  6. gung hoe

    And i do agree with you that humans lives are more important than animals but their fleet operates under the guise of research thats the biggest joke ever

    December 8, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  7. rooney

    I'm with Greenpeace. There are better ways to feed people and reconstruct a country than killing and endangering the existence of a species under the cover of "research".

    December 8, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  8. Beans

    @?!# you whale and @?!# you dolphin

    December 8, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  9. dontdrama

    Their whale killing fleet should be sent to clean up the billions of tons of garbage they dumped into the Pacific. Then they should boy and say "so sorry" to the rest of the World.

    December 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • dontdrama

      I meant "bow", not "boy".

      December 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. gung hoe

    @dondrama very good idea I like that but they would find a way to kill something

    December 8, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • dontdrama

      They can't kill anything in their own waters because it's radioactive. Who would've thought that a tsunami would blow their nuclear plant? They only live on the edge of a tectonic plate!

      December 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. h.w

    Poaching of the whale is not performed.
    Capture of endangered species is excepted.

    The main candidates for capture are Minke whales.

    December 12, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |