Question: So there is no policy review (by the new government)?
Katsuya Okada: We do not think that there is a need for a policy review at this point of time.
Captain Watson: I believe the way to end whaling is to bankrupt the industry and that is why we interfere with their killing operations. Because of Sea Shepherd, Japan has registered financial losses for three years in a row. We are cutting their kill quotas and thus their profits.
Question: What about the structure of the whaling industry, government support and subsidies and amakudari (jobs provided to former government bureaucrats)?
Katsuya Okada: I think there might a bit of exaggeration to what you just described. You mentioned amakudari and we are opposed to amakudari. It is not my understanding that there are many amakudari cases in regard to scientific whaling. There might be some but is not my understanding there are many. But if there are some things that need to be corrected it needs to be corrected.
As I mentioned we should respect the food culture of each other, and just because it's whaling and "everything regarding whaling is no good" is unacceptable, that is my thinking.
When I met with your Foreign Minister Mr. Smith, I said to him when I described the situation: 'For the Japanese, whaling is equivalent to the Australian beef’. I may have overstated, maybe I shouldn't have said that.
Captain Watson: I think it would be more accurate to compare Australian beef to Japanese Kobe beef. No abattoir in the world would tolerate the cruelty to cows that the Japanese inflict upon the whales. Last year we filmed a Minke whale thrashing about in the water and its own blood, in agony for twenty-five minutes as the whalers fired round after round into its convulsing body with high-powered rifles. Mr. Okada has obviously not seen footage of the horror that his harpoons inflict upon these creatures. Our position is that yes, everything about whaling is no good. It is a barbaric tradition as outdated as other economic activities like slavery.
What Mr. Okada is ignoring however is that Japanese whaling is illegal. His whalers are nothing more than poachers. They are targeting endangered whales in an established whale sanctuary in violation of a global moratorium on whaling and in violation of the Antarctic Treaty. They are also in contempt of an Australian Federal Court order for continuing to kill whales in the Australian Antarctic Territory.