Here is the latest video clip of the ongoing clash between the radical animal rights group Sea Shepherd and Japanese whaling ships in the Southern Ocean:
According to Sea Shepherd:
The Japanese whaling fleet, poaching whales from Antarctica’s Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, creates a collision as they attempt an illegal refuelling operation. Sea Shepherd Ship Bob Barker peacefully blocks the whalers’ factory ship, Nisshin Maru, from refuelling.
The Bob Barker holds their ground, but the Nisshin Maru moves in, pinching the Bob Barker between itself and the fuel tanker Sun Laurel while blasting the bridge windows with high-powered water cannons. The bow wake from the two larger ships causes the smaller one to lose steerage, and the ensuing turbulence throws the Bob Barker off course. The Bob Barker gets helplessly tossed side to side between the two larger ships.
This video clearly shows the fault of the collision on the Nisshin Maru. According to COLREGS, the Bob Barker had the right of way, and the Nisshin Maru had no right to move closer to the Bob Barker.
However, a user of Reddit.com who is familiar with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGs) wrote the following:
The Bob Barker is very much in the wrong in this situation. These two vessels are undergoing an operation known as “underway replenishment”. Vessels engaged in this operation become “restricted in their ability to manoeuvre (RAM)”. I am unable to see from the video whether or not she is displaying her day shapes to indicate so, but either way the Nisshin Maru has properly warned the Bob Barker to keep clear. As the Nisshin Maru is RAM, the Bob Barker, which is under “power-driven vessel” status must avoid a vessel RAM. COLREGs Rule 18 (a)(ii)
The second mistake is the attempt to overtake these two ships so close. This is a direct violation of COLREGs Rule 13 (d) which governs overtaking. “Any subsequent alteration of the bearing between the two vessels shall not make the overtaking vessel a crossing vessel within the meaning of these Rules or relieve her of the duty of keeping clear of the overtaken vessel until she is finally past and clear.” Because of the fact that the Bob Barker is within 22.5 degrees abaft (behind) the beam (line in the middle from side to side) of both vessels, she is to keep well clear and safely overtake the vessels on either the port or starboard sides.
Any remotely competent mariner would not find themselves in this position. a smaller vessel like the Bob Barker should not have much difficulty avoiding this even near the start of this video. The Bob Barker should have used astern propulsion to remove herself from the middle of these two vessels.
It has come to my attention that the Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies has published an excellent new article about the “Comfort Women” issue. Gavan Gray of Ristumeikan University explores how an inaccurate historical narrative has come to be accepted as unquestionable truth among Asian and Western countries that so harshly criticize Japan’s handling of the issue:
The clash between Japan and South Korea over redress for former ‘comfort women’ is a key element preventing stronger ties between the two neighbours. The issue has also diverted attention from the larger problem of human-trafficking that plagues both countries. In recent years understanding of the issue has been broadened by Asian scholars who have moved beyond the version that was dominant in the early 1990s. In the West however, perceptions remain as they were twenty years ago, repeating as fact elements that have been brought into question or utterly disproven. This inaccurate portrayal by Western media and governments has compromised resolution of the issue in Asia and failed to acknowledge widespread use of equivalent systems of prostitution by both South Korea and the USA. The reason Japan was so specifically targeted lies in a timely convergence of feminism, Korean nationalism and latent anti-Japanese racism. Acting to exaggerate the cruelty of Japan’s system while ignoring those of other nations, these factors prevented Japan and South Korea from developing a new perspective on the issue that would allow stronger ties between the two and refocus the campaign to end exploitation of Asian women.
The radical animal rights group Sea Shepherd is renewing its violent attacks on Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean. The follow video shows an SS ship colliding with Japanese boats:
Luckily, no Japanese were injured, but one Japanese ship did suffer slight damage.
Sea Shepherd, who has a history of steering its vessels dangerously close to whaling ships and causing collisions, has whined about how the Japan ship “rammed them.” Of course, media outlets such as the Australian Herald Sun have parroted Sea Shepherd’s press releases. (Video from the perspective of the Japanese whaling ship shows the SS vessel steering itself into the path between the whalers.)
Learn more about Sea Shepherd by checking some of these other posts:
Here is an interesting video of a recent protest in Tokyo, courtesy of ANN:
It shows a group of mothers who gathered in front of the Suginami ward office in Tokyo to protest a shortage of nursery schools. In the latest round of applications for the nursery schools maintained by the ward, 1,833 children were rejected because there was simply no space for them (there were 2,968 applicants). The mothers, many of whom probably need to work during the day but cannot afford expensive private nurseries, are understandably angry.
The reporters visit the house of a woman who lives in Itabashi ward of Tokyo. She gave birth to a baby a year and one month ago, and was planning to return to full-time work. Unfortunately, she was unable to find a nursery for her child. She applied for five places, and they all turned her down because they were full. Because her maternity leave only lasts until April, she will be forced to abandon her job.
Government-run nursery schools have pretty strict entry requirements. Because of a shortage of such facilities, they give preference to people in the worst financial circumstances. The woman they interview says she has heard about some couples getting divorced so they could have a better chance at passing the entry screening.
There are, of course, private nursery schools. However, they can be quite expensive. The report says that it can cost about 100,000 yen ($1,060) a month to put two children in daycare.
It’s a really bad situation. If a mother has to face such difficulty and economic hardship after having one child, she may very well decide not to have more children. Not a great outcome for Japan’s birth rate…