For an industry that contributes so little to our national calorific and animal protein needs, whaling has invited a disproportionately large amount of invective and violence from environmentalists and animal activists in the West. Whatever you make of the merits of the case, it's enough to make you wonder why we care. In fact, we don't really care that much, because it has taken the BBC of all places, and not the Japanese media, to remind us of the history behind it.
It's a story of sanctimony, treachery, accusations and counter-accusations, with lurking hints of something akin to racism. It also features Kazuo Shima, who should certainly rank as one of the top ten Japanese to have served in a leadership role as an international public servant with distinction.
Eat it up, JH.