Interesting reading to be found here
Our prime minister - the new one who is not a jerk - is headed for Japan to talk about... stuff.
Pretending for a second that diplomacy is like a bar room deal, I hammered out the following for him to take along:
We - Australia - want a new fleet of submarines. You - Nihon - want to build them for us.
Okay, deal... just stop killing the whales.
You know it pisses us off. We've been leading the charge against it for years.
It's NOT Japanese culture. Not the way it's done now. You learned deep sea whaling from the Norwegians. Until the late 19th century, Japanese whaling was just a local coastal thing done by some settlements for subsistence.
Furthermore you're actually suffering from selective cultural amnesia...
In some Shinto traditions the whale is a sacred creature. Buddhism - the other religion of Japan - also takes a very dim view of whaling.
It's not that profitable. Subsidies are needed sometimes just to break even, and I strongly suspect that some putz with friends who have too much body ink and too few fingers has a cosy circle of money happening to keep him in office. Mercury levels are so high in whale meat that pregnant women and kids are not meant to eat it. It doesn't contribute to food security - WE can help with that....actually, mercury-free.
You don't need to do it. Want to build our subs?