A Japanese ship injures a whale with its first harpoon.
It took three harpoon attempts to kill the mammal.
Photograph: Kate Davidson/EPA/Corbis,
The Guardian UK December 14, 2011
Perhaps this is the answer to the puzzle of why, in the face of ongoing Australian opposition, the Government of Japan (under the guise of research) continues to needlessly kill whales in Antarctica for a dwindling domestic whale meat market – it thinks it owns us.
According to the Australian Parliament’s About the House Magazine in December 2011:
Japan [is] ranked as Australia’s third largest source of merchandise imports in 2010 (after China and the United States), worth $18.2 billion. The automotive sector dominates this trade, with Australia constituting the third-biggest market for new passenger motor vehicles manufactured in Japan.
The economic relationship between Australia and Japan is not only about trade. Japan has been Australia’s third largest foreign investor for many years (after the United States and the United Kingdom). The total stock of Japanese investment in Australia at the end of 2010 was $117.6 billion, almost twice as large as that of China (including Hong Kong). When both trade and investment are included – and taking account of both the depth and breadth of that investment, which has been critical to the development of Australia’s most important industries – Japan could still be considered to be Australia’s most important economic partner overall.
Japanese demand for Australia’s resources – and the accompanying investment – has contributed enormously to the development of Australia’s mining industry. In the area of agriculture, over 40 per cent of ‘Aussie beef’ imported into Japan comes from Japanese-owned farms in Australia. Kirin Holdings now owns Australia’s largest dairy company, as well as some of Australia’s largest beer producers. In the field of manufacturing, Toyota not only exports passenger vehicles to Australia, but – through its in-country production facilities – is also the largest producer of these vehicles in Australia. Furthermore, Japanese investment is increasingly targeted at using Australia as a springboard into the emerging economies of Asia. Japanese investment has been remarkable for its breadth, continuity and steady expansion over time, regardless of fluctuations in the global economic situation.
Australians can noticeably alter this scenario if enough individuals refuse to purchase goods imported from Japan or goods produced by Japanese–owned companies operating in this country, for as long as Japan acts as an inhumane environmental vandal in the Southern Ocean.