Posts Tagged ‘ Japan ’

Greepeace gives up on real whales, saves paper ones instead.

Fresh from thier succesful campagin savings whales in the South Pacific, Greenepeace have launched a new campagin to save yet more whales…

Oh wait, that wasn’t Greenpeace, that was Sea Shepherd… I forgot, Greenpeace didn’t bother treking down south to help whales this year, they clearly had more important things to do and hell, whales are so yesterday when you can run around saving the world from Global Warming!


whadya mean Greenpeace are busy! do we have to do this by ourselves now???

A quick glance at Greenpeace’s blog tag cloud says it all, a dirty great big Global Warming, the Whales stuck down the corner somewhere in tiny writing.

Naturally Greenpeace is happy to take your cash for saving whales, but don’t expect them to actually get wet trying to protect actual real live whales, because they are now far to corporate to do that sort of thing anymore. Instead some clever marketing department has come up with some trite cmapagin around origami whales. Nice slick way of raising money, any large global corporate would be proud of such a slick cmapagin.

Not sure the poor old whales are so enthusaed though, we’ll never know how the 600 odd whales that got shot to bits by Japanese whalers think about the “gourgeous origami whales cmapagin” because they are currently working their way through some person’s digestive system.

Nice one Greenpeace, pity about the real whales eh?


Obama to get rid of nukes… not

In NZ whenever a politician needs to distract voters from something unpleasant they drag up Republicanism. This allows commentators and academics to have a field day, spurred on by the media, spouting forth various objections or improvements. From the politicians point of view it serves a useful distraction and by the time the dust settles the original problem has been forgotten, and the issue of Republicanism is “firmly off the table for the foreseeable future”.

So it must surely be with Obama’s latest proclamation that he wants to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

It wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that this isn’t going to happen. Lets just suspend belief here and say that the USA decided tomorrow to ditch all it’s nuclear deterrent, does that mean Israel, France, Russia, Britain, China, Japan, North Korea, India, Pakistan, Brazil and Iran are going to get warm fuzzies and chuck away their weapons as well?

For small not so wealthy countries feeling threatened, a nuclear deterrent is a cheap and effective way of holding your rivals and enemies at arms length. Not one of these countries is going to give up either their public of clandestine programs for very obvious reasons.

I know Obama says his role model is Lincoln, but I still think it’s Blair – Tony Blair. Despite a pretty average performance when it comes to governing, he has a silver tongue and the ability to play the media like a harp. This latest suggestion is as silly as Bush’s “War on Terror” – sure it’s warm and fuzzy, but it’s just as silly. The world is on the edge of economic collaspe and Obama comes up with world peace.

This is a distraction and nothing more – I guess the other leaders will thank him for it as they have plenty they wish to distract their voters from presently.

Japanese attempt to ‘save face’ on whaling

The latest twist in the Japanese whaling saga seems to be about the Japanese ‘giving up’ doing something it shouldn’t be doing anyway, and then being allowed to legitimately do something it’s doing already, but in a different place.

Essentially the Japanese Whaling lobby are offering to cease whaling in the South Pacific in return for being able to take an unspecified number of whales in the North Pacific.

If you understand a bit about Japanese culture and business negotiations this looks a lot like a face saving proposal.

nissanmaru_2007125115922I think the Japanese Whaling lobby and their supporters within the Japanese Government and IWC have realised they are losing the battle for ‘hearts and minds’ both internationally and at home.

It is likely that in five years or so the Japanese whaling lobby’s intransigence and endless subsidies will wear very thin with the Japanese tax payer, and they already know that international public opinion is very much against them. 

With the economic outlook grim, the Japanese Government will be wanting to cut costs where it can to prop up public spending to mitigate the economic slump. Whaling is not only a waste of money, but it’s clearly annoying Japanese allies and international public opinion, so it would make sense to quietly seek a compromise that avoids the damaging publicity it is currently suffering, while saving the subsidies it pays to the industry.

Personally I credit Sea Shepherd for this desperate attempt to seek a compromise before it gets so bad they are forced into a publicly humiliating back down – something Japanese take very badly.

The endless bad publicity and the clumsy attempts by the Japanese Whaling lobby to frame their industry as ‘reserch’ (by painting the words in English “Research” on the sides of their whaling industries vessels) and wooden PR campaign have ruined any credibility they may have had.

Their defenders in the ‘West’ are usually Japanophiles that perform some curious displays of logic contortion to justify Japanese ‘rights’ t hunt whales in the South Pacific based on flimsy cultural grounds. Hell, if the Japanese want to go and hunt a few whales off their coast with traditional wooden boats and harpoons, be my guest. Huge factory ships with myriad support vessels, spotter boats, and factory ships isn’t ‘cultural’ it’s economic exploitation.

New Zealand, Australia and the other ‘anti’ whaling block members on the IWC should see the Japanese overtures for what they are, an attempt to save face and retain some form of whaling based on the realisation that in five years even their current program will be so unpopular they will be forced to loose face by backing down completely.

The answer to this current proposal and any other like it, should be ‘NO’. 

Let Japanese continue it’s publicly damaged ‘research’ missions in the South Pacific, and let groups like Sea Shepherd oppose them, this is the surest way to close down this industry for good.

Speedy Justice!

The South Koreans don’t waste time, their economy & democracy have developed fast, they have the fastest internet speeds in the world, and now they have a fast justice system too.

They have just adopted a jury system for trials.

Not ones to muck around they made the decision and got on with it catching citizens out when they received their jury service summons.

It also appears they don’t hang around in court, with murder trials taking a day!

So far, nearly all the jury trials have been concluded within one day, from jury selection in the morning, through lawyers’ presentations in the afternoon, to jury deliberations in early evening. Jurors, usually numbering five to nine, are instructed that if they cannot reach a unanimous verdict within an hour or so, they must consult the judge for guidance.

I was impressed that jurors didn’t want to be away from work for more than a day – maybe if we could achieve one day trials here people wouldn’t constantly try and get out of jury service, robbing the system of a balanced representation of citizens. I guess it would quickly clear that backlog of trials we have and the delays in people actually getting justice – ‘justice delayed is justice denied’.

I guess things will change in Korea as the courts adapt and trials start to drag out. The Japanese have also adopted jury trials and it will be interesting to see how their highly arbitrary justice system evolves.