Japan should not refuses to accept the decision by the international judiciary.
However, there is also another way to find a raison d'etre of the nation in the IWC: International Whaling Committee.
The keyword is "Ebisu": "the God of wealth and rich haul" in Japan.
Japanese whaling industry both major farm and Taiji has been indivisible constitution with "Over catching", "Regulatory" and "Killing calf and mother whales" historically. But there is another traditional culture of whales in Japan, too. Whales which drive fish for human have been worshiped as "Ebisu-sama" and to catch whales has been taboo at some regions in Japan from ancient times. This amazing traditional culture is worth to spread all over Japan and around the world in contrast whaling and "Favorite Sashimi" culture.
Even if commercial whaling will be continued to ban in the future, Japan will be able to obtain a large profit and exert international leadership for belonging to the IWC. On the other hand, the way of whaling is completely cut off if Japan withdraw from the IWC. The choices are only two; To continue circumvention whaling so-called "research whaling" which never help at all neither to international cooperation nor to fisheries while deceiving the Japanese public and taking contempt and condemnation around the world, or to choice another way.
Japan and Anti-whaling countries can come to the academic and rational negotiating table although Japan denies it. First of all, concept which regard nature and wildlife as only edible resources is non-scientific.
RMP: Revised Management Protocol which developed for the IWC has been utilized in fisheries as robust management system today. However, RMP is not expected to be applied because agreement about RMS: Revised Management Scheme is never satisfied on the IWC. And also, factory ship whaling in the Antarctic Ocean not be satisfied profitably as JARPAII had showed.
Now, there is more appropriate alternative management scheme to whales. MSES: Maximum Sustainable Ecological Services is a conception proposed by Japanese ecological scientists. Comprehensive management including consumptive use, non-consumptive use and whole ecological services is the most rational management of whales as "Global Commons" at international governmental organization.
It has been found that whales play great role than forest in carbon fixation. Particularly whale's carbon fixation in the Antarctic Ocean is extremely important where minerals supplied from Antarctic continent.
Increase primary marine productivity is also a topic receiving a lot of attention lately. Protection of whales will surely contribute to improvement of fisheries same as setting of MPA: Marine Protected Areas.
Mitigation effect on regime shift is a hypothesis about regime shifts contribution by high-level predators which has broad and flexible food habits as whales. This effect is considered large in the northwest Pacific Ocean particularly. Australia, New Zealand, the United States which strictly protect marine mammals have been successful rather than Japan in the fisheries resource management. If these studies and assessment progress, Japanese fisherman also will be able to confirm whale's benefits. SAWS: South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary has also a enormous significance as the field for the verification of those whale's ecological services.
Whale watching has now become successful and big growth industry around the world including Ogasawara, Ohgata, Zamami, Chohshi, Shiretoko and so on in Japan unlike whaling industry has been turned into unprofitable state-owned business. In Japan, local governments and industry associations made a voluntary rules in cooperation and their Whale watching industry are good sustainable model of whale watching which does not adversely influence to whales. Japan will surely be able to share and provide that know-how to the world through the IWC.
Consumptive use of whales should be limited to aboriginal whaling and use of by-catch which strictly monitored and managed by the IWC. Only Ainu have the right as indigenous people to access whales, though they had been forced to ban by Japanese Government in the Meiji Era.
Having said that, anti-whaling countries and NGOs should give a certain grace period for the transition to Japan about coastal whaling. Premature introduction of commercial whaling ban has called up resolute anti-anti-whaling movement which combined with ultra-nationalism in Japan and over 10,000 of whales had been killed under the moratorium.
I want to believe that there is a bright future ahead of not only the IWC and whales but Japan and its fisheries.
- Fisheries Diversity and the Ecosystem-based management
- Optimal Fishing Policies That Maximize Sustainable Ecosystem Services
- Whales as marine ecosystem engineers
- Why whale poo is good for the oceans... and us
- Why whale poo could be the secret to reversing the effects of climate change
- Whales’ dung is the real reason we need to stop hunting them