Some of that is true, but you really need to do better fact checks- the citations there are horribly biased, as most things recording this particular issue are going to be due to all the negative publicity surrounding it. Personally, I don’t have much patience for whaling, but the way this issue is politicized and blown out of proportion is really borderline absurd and gives me a bad opinion of the way several particular environmental agencies handle things.
The Japanese public is as aware of this issue as it is of any other. It’s just that most Japanese are rather parochial when it comes to political issues, so it’s not very hot topic (though other health-related environmental issues are pretty much number one).
Killing dolphins technically isn’t illegal unless the country in question says that it is- the UN has no enforcement power and international laws concerning the issue have no relevance. That said, Japan politically protects itself by limiting the numbers and placing it all under the umbrella of scientific research, which actually does occur, by the way, and is taken quite seriously.
The “lunch meat” issue is entirely false/blown out of proportion (depending on how you look at it, really.) The incident that’s actually referring to took place in 2008, when whale meat was released in very limited quantities to a few schools as part of a cost-cutting measure, and labeled as “traditional lunch week” or some other such nonsense. There was a severe public backlash, both nationally and internationally, and although it only occurred in a few schools the program was immediately condemned (besides, Japan doesn’t produce enough whale and dolphin meat to sustain that kind of thing very long in the first place).
I actually live in Japan- so some of this information is based on actual conversations and personal experience. You can find some further information in a few books (Stockwin’s “Governing Japan,” for instance, mentions the issue briefly, if I recall correctly), and I can dig up the academic papers proving things more solidly if you really want me to.
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