Whaling hurts Japan’s soft power – upsets trading partners
Mahr 10—TIME's South Asia Bureau Chief and correspondent in New Delhi, India (Krista, “Support for Japan’s Whaling: On the Verge of Extinction?,” TIME, 6/16, http://science.time.com/2010/06/16/support-for-japans-whaling-on-the-verge-of-extinction/)//FJ
Having lived in Iceland in 2006 when that island nation decided to resume its own scientific whaling program to much of the world’s dismay, it’s hard for me personally to understand why nations with bigger fish to fry arewilling to risk so much political capital with their trading partnersto fight what looks, to most of the world, like a losing battle. The continuing hunt for the endangered stocks of bluefin tuna may be wrong, but at least opponents can grudgingly acknowledge there is a economic and gastronomic incentive worth fighting for there. Whale meat, which is sold in Japan and Iceland, is not much of an industry, and to this palette, it’s straddling of the beefy-fishy flavor zones is a little gross.\
Zelko 13—Associate Professor of History and Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont (Frank, “Hang up the harpoons, Japan,” The Los Angeles Times, 7/23, http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jul/23/opinion/la-oe-zelko-japan-whaling-20130723)//FJ
Politically, whaling causesnothing but ill will and tarnishes Japan's image. The current skirmish with Australia is merely one example of how Japan has had toexpend political and economic capital to support a deeply unprofitable and unpopular industry. Furthermore, in an effort to overturn the 1986 moratorium, countless Japanese diplomats have spent the last three decades cajoling poorer nations — most of whom have no interest in whaling — into joining the IWC and voting with Japan. Ecologically, whaling is unjustifiable. Most whale species are not even close to recovering from the massive population crash caused by commercial whaling. From a conservation perspective, it is very unwise to harvest a large mammal that reproduces very slowly. Fin whales — the second-largest animal ever to live on Earth and a species that Icelandic whalers continue to hunt — gestate for 11 months and give birth to just one offspring every three years. Moreover, scientific studies demonstrate that whales play an important role in ocean ecology. By feeding on deepwater plankton and excreting at the surface, they help prime the "biological pump" that ensures the continual recycling of nutrients throughout the oceans' depths. Ironically, the most compelling reason why Japan and other nations should stop whaling may well be the least likely to persaude them to do so: the cultural shift in people's attitudes toward whales since WWII. The whaling industry is still struggling to come to grips with the fact that in Western popular culture, the whale has been transformed from mere blubber and baleen to a sort of Buddha of the deep — a gentle, peaceful and highly intelligent behemoth that has lived in harmony with its environment for millions of years.
Japanese soft power is key to solve for Middle East conflict – no historical animosity and economic influence.