Why I can’t tick Japan off my bucket list

carbon footprint dolphins japan whales whaling

Both my husband and I have long dreamed of visiting Japan and we discussed going for our honeymoon. However, while planning where to go, the Japanese government made the decision to resume commercial whaling after more than 30 years.

 

Whales were brought to near extinction, hence the ban in 1986 but Whalers have long been campaigning to resume hunting in order to continue what they say is an important part of their culture. As populations recovered, and the International Whaling Commission (IWC) continued to refuse lifting the ban, Japan decided to withdraw from the IWC altogether and resumed whaling as of July this year (2019).

 

We were so disappointed by this reverse in progress, that we decided we could not go.

 

On top of the whaling, another thing that influenced our decision is the annual dolphin slaughter in Taji where dolphin hunters drive large numbers of the mammals to shore where the majority are slaughtered. The rest, normally the young, are sold for captivity.

 

Sarah Lucas, chief executive of Action for Dolphins claims “The method used to kill dolphins during the hunt is exceptionally cruel. A metal rod is repeatedly stabbed into the back of the dolphin’s neck and a wooden plug is inserted into the open wound to prevent blood loss. This means the dolphins die a slow, painful death, taking several minutes to bleed out or drown in their own blood.

 

The charity Dolphin Project is holding their annual “Japan Dolphins Day” event on 1 September 2019, to mark the start of the hunting season in Taiji, Japan. Activists around the world will be joining in peaceful demonstration to educate the public, as well as to voice international opposition to the hunts. The idea is to hold a positive event, celebrating dolphins rather than promoting hateful messages to Japan. I agree with this method to unite and inform people in a peaceful way. Here is a link to find a local event if you’re interested in joining a peaceful protest.

 

I pray that Japan will end the decimation of whale and dolphin populations soon and that my husband and I can visit one day, perhaps for a wedding anniversary in the not too distant future.

 

We just celebrated our first wedding anniversary and went on a weekend away. We were thinking of going abroad, however we have already been to India on our honeymoon, and I have two upcoming trips abroad I have to take later in the year, so I am acutely aware of my high Carbon footprint. Aviation contributes about 2% of the world's global carbon emissions, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) so as much as I LOVE travelling, I need to reduce the amount of flying I do. Therefore, we decided to go to London instead and headed to Notting Hill Carnival.

 

Another place we visited on our London weekend was Sushisamba, a cocktail bar on the 38th floor of a tower overlooking the Gherkin. Given our decision not to visit Japan for now, we settled for Sushisamba’s Japanese décor!

My husband and I won't go to Japan so faking it til we make it at Sushisamba, London



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