• by: Tony Fields Whale Call
  • recipient: Mr Norihiko Akagi, Japanese Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Minister

Please put a halt to allowing young Japanese schoolchildren to attend whale butchering. It is a horrendous and nauseating act for young children of such an early age to witness.

With knives sharpened and schoolchildren watching, one of Japan's 3 coastal whaling towns, Wada, butchered its first catch of the season on Thursday 21st of June 2007 and chopped 2 Baird%u2019s beaked whales into bricks of meat and blubber for sale, and defended the practice against international criticism. Yoshinori Shoji, head of Wada's Gaibo Hogei whaling company invites local schoolchildren to watch the first butchering of the season. About 50 fifth-graders gathered around the whaling station to watch.

Yoshinori Shoji argues that whales should be managed like any other natural resource, and he rejects anti-whaling arguments that these majestic mammals should be protected at all costs.

Like any butchering operation, the show at Wada was a bloody one. The children watched with a mixture of fascination and nausea as gallons of blood gushed from the Baird%u2019s beaked whale%u2019s body as the workers cut deep for meat and sliced away internal organs such as the heart and lungs. "I've seen this 10 times!" boasted 10 year old school student, Ryunosuke Nakayama, "But it's kind of gross."  After the butchering, the children gathered at a local community hall for a breakfast of fried whale, rice balls and watermelon.

"It's not enough to explain it to them -- we want them to see it," said Akiji Ichihara, a restaurant owner who prepares whale for the children to eat. "It's our food culture. You can't decide for other people what they can eat."

This is a clear indication of the fate that awaits up to 1000 whales under Japan%u2019s slaughter program this year.

Would you like to witness such a gruesom act?

 How would you like your 5th grade child to attend such a bloody, sickening act and then afterward have to eat a meal of this highly toxic meat?

Do you think this should be on Japanese school curriculums?

Please sign this petition and let the Japanese Government and Education and Environment Ministers know how you feel about this shocking attempt to nullify children's feelings towards Whales.

%u201Cevery drop of rain that falls ends up in the mouths of whales %u2013 it is up to humans to control what substances enter that raindrop during its journey to the ocean%u201D

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