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Japan wants respect for its ‘whaling tradition’

Japan wants respect for its ‘whaling tradition’
A humpback whale breaches in the waters off Hawaii in 2007. (Associated Press)

To the editor: Your Jan. 3 editorial on whaling overlooks several critical facts.

You underplay Japan’s commitment to the conservation of marine living resources. You correctly write that Japan will limit whaling to its coastal waters, but fail to note that Japan will set catch limits at a level that does not negatively affect the sustainability of target species, using the method established by the International Whaling Commission. Japan also prohibits catching at-risk species.

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Japan has never been a “renegade” member of the International Whaling Commission. Since its creation in 1946, the commission has allowed whaling for research purposes. Also, Japan has observed the 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling, which was supposed to be revisited in 1990 but never was.

Mutually honoring cultural diversity is a globally recognized value. Japanese whaling tradition — not a “dying custom” as you say — deserves your due respect.

Akira Chiba, Los Angeles

The writer is consul general of Japan in Los Angeles

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