There are no summer holidays to disrupt the normal news cycle in Japan so the newspapers up there generally have been more restrained than ours in covering the drama on the Antarctic high seas of their country’s whalers and the ships of the Sea Shepherd. The Mainichi Shimbun, however, has had a few wordsof warning that the issue could in the end affect Australia-Japanese relations.
“Anti-whaling sentiment is deeply rooted in the Australian public, however, and with a general election coming up in the fall, the Australian Labor Party administration of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s response has been lukewarm.
The thing is, whether we are for or against whaling has absolutely nothing to do with whether we condone the violence perpetrated by Sea Shepherd. Prime Minister Rudd should be able to provide a sober explanation of this fact, and take a resolute stand against the organization’s disregard for law and order.
If the purpose is to stop Japanese whaling, the matter should be taken up with the International Whaling Commission (IWC), and obtain the support of its member nations. Quietly condoning the actions of Sea Shepherd, which has ignored the democratic processes in the IWC, is tantamount to an announcement that any means — both fair and foul — are acceptable in striving towards a goal. This reasoning is no different to that of a terrorist.”