UPDATE: No sooner did I post this did I find out it’s a hoax. Of course, this reaffirms a long held tenet of mine: when things seem to good to be true…they are.
A report that the Japanese government will scrap all research whaling has been dismissed as a hoax. The report, tracked back to a US fake news website, coincided with Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s trip to Tokyo – her first since the Japanese whaling fleet was forced to pull out of the Southern Ocean early.
“Effective immediately, Japan will no longer conduct scientific research on whale populations which require capture and dissection,” said Chief Cabinet Secretary Makoto Inoue, speaking at a press conference in Tokyo. “The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has revoked all permits for whaling research.”
Asked about the motivation behind the sudden announcement, Inoue said, “It cannot be denied that that whaling severely and unnecessarily damages the image of Japan in the international community, due to the strong sentiment against whaling in many countries,” speaking through an interpreter. “There is no longer any economic need for Japan to obtain protein from the whales, so it would be irrational and pointless to continue catching whales.”