Friday, November 28, 2014

Selective multiculturalism

Critics of Japan’s whaling practices are guilty of “eco-imperialism” for trying to impose their beliefs on countries that hunt and eat whales, Japan’s pointman on the issue said Wednesday. 
Critics of whaling needed to drop their “zero tolerance” stance and recognize that different countries have “different codes,” said Joji Morishita, Japan’s commissioner to the International Whaling Commission. 
Take people in India who don’t eat beef, Morishita told reporters in Tokyo.
“What if they start promoting their habit on the rest of the world, and are promoting an anti-McDonald’s, anti-beef steak movement throughout the world with economic sanctions,” he said. “People can see the stupidity of this if you talk about beef, but what’s the difference between a cow and whales?” 
Ordinary people in Japan viewed countries who criticized whaling as cultural imperialists, Morishita said.
“[They] say, ‘I don’t eat whale meat, however I don’t like the idea of beef-eating people or pork-eating people saying to Japanese people to stop eating whales,’ ” he said. “We do recognize that, from country to country, we have different codes and different conditions. But maybe we shouldn’t impose our code on others,” he said.

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