Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Some things never change
I make no secret of my being a Japanophile 親日, but I nonetheless try not to put on the blinders or rose-tinted glasses when it comes to looking at what goes on in the country. Take Japan's attitude toward the conservation of marine resources - please! It's bad enough the Japanese continue to hunt whales under the flimsy "scientific research" premise, buttressed by dubious claims of "culture" (not to mention hilariously ridiculous comparisons to cattle ranching), all to satisfy a small but vocal nationalist clique. Now it's the turn of the Atlantic bluefin tuna to be put at risk. Despite the ever-increasing prices for the fish at sushi restaurants in Japan, despite the dramatically declining stocks in the Atlantic (by up to 80%), despite the irony in having buy fish from the other side of the world in order to maintain the "traditional food culture" line, the so-called "reformist" Hatoyama administration 鳩山由紀夫 worked overtime to defeat the proposal to have Atlantic bluefin tuna fishing and trading banned under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). If and when the day comes that tuna is no longer on the menu at sushi and sashimi restaurants, the Japanese won't have to look far to find out who was responsible. The nearest mirror will suffice quite nicely.
Some things are not endangered. I took this photo of a betel nut seller talking to a customer. The picture clarity would've been better had I not been such a coward: