Individuals Having an Impact on IR

In a previous post, I asked you to consider not how international relations affects you, but how the way in which you behave, and the actions that you take have an effect on IR. Here’s a story about how changing individual attitudes in Japan may be having a greater impact on the whaling industry than the combined efforts of states and NGOs over the last couple of decades. You can see a graphically disturbing video of whales being killed at the link above.

JAPAN’s whalers are going broke and have been forced to slash prices because no one wants to eat their growing mountain of whale meat.

whale_slaughter.jpgThe farcical truth of Japan’s whaling industry was exposed yesterday by Japanese media reports that the Institute for Cetacean Research is struggling to repay $37 million in government subsidies.

The report came as Japanese embassy officials made a stern protest in Canberra over the Federal Government’s release of shocking whaling photographs.

The ICR, responsible for Japan’s lethal “research operation”, is flooding Japan with cheap whale meat that it cannot sell, according to the reports in respected newspaper Asahi Shimbun.

Meat and other parts of whales killed during ICR “scientific research” in the Southern Ocean is sold to a private fisheries company Kyodo Senpaku, which manages the sale of whale meat in the Japanese market. But while ICR has consistently increased the number of whales it kills – by 30 per cent between 2005 and 2006 – there has been no rise in domestic demand for whale meat or products.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific whales campaign director Rob Nicholl said the losses were further proof that there was no market for whale meat in Japan.
“It’s standard economics. There is an oversupply. They’ve had to reduce the price but they still can’t get rid of the stuff,” he said.

Do you think that this story can shed any light on a potential solution to the drug and human trafficking industries? How specifically?

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