I don’t know how widely this is being reported in the Japanese media, but some of you may have seen stories recently about conflict in the Southern Ocean between Japanese ships that are trying to kill whales, and protest ships from the group Sea Shepherd that are trying to stop them.
To some people, Sea Shepherd are eco-terorrists who are endangering human lives through their stupid actions, but to others, they are heroes who are risking their own lives to protect a beautiful, intelligent mammal.
For me, the most interesting point of this debate is not the rights and wrongs of whaling, but rather the fact that most Japanese people have no idea how strongly the rest of the world feels about the issue. I invited a British friend of mine to come and visit me in Japan once. She said that although she is very interested in the country, she could never consider visiting as long as Japan continues killing whales.
I don’t want to push my opinion too strongly here because I know that this is a very controversial topic, but suffice it to say that I am very much against the killing of whales and dolphins. The Japanese government argues strongly that killing whales is part of Japanese culture, but many people believe that this is just an excuse made by nationalists and right-wing politicians who believe it is a sign of strength to refuse to bow to international pressure.
Anyway, as I said, the thing that interests me most is the fact that most Japanese people are completely unaware of the strength of feeling about whaling in other countries. As you know, I have taught many multi-national English classes in other countries, and it is not unusual for other students to become very aggressive and angry with Japanese students when this topic is discussed. In most cases, the Japanese students have no idea why their classmates are getting so emotional.
As I said last week, I know that this is a very controversial topic, but I would like to ask you all three questions:
1) Are you in favour of killing whales for meat?
2) Do you think that Japan should consider the feelings of other countries on this issue, or is it nothing to do with them?
3) Have you ever discussed this issue with people from other countries? If so, what was their reaction?
Look forward to hearing your thoughts.
このブログは英語学習者のためのものです。レベルの高い人もいれば、初心者もいますので、自分のレベルや学習経験を気にする必要はありません。「いつもコメントを書いている人は仲間みたいだから参加しにくい」と思う方もいるかもしれませんが、勇気を出してコメントを書いてみてください。必ず温かく迎えてもらえます。多くのコメントは英語で書かれていますが、もちろん日本語もOKですし、英語と日本語を混ぜて書いても大丈夫です。言いたいことが言えないときは、How do you say 「〜」in English? と聞けば、きっとだれかが教えてくれると思います。私のエントリー、または他のメンバーのコメントの中に分からないところがあったら、「”…”はどういう意味ですか？」と遠慮なく聞いてください。このブログで使われているフレーズや表現をたくさん吸収すると、より自然な英語に近づけることができますよ！
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