Japan Is Selling Whale Meat By Vending Machines To Revive Its Sales Hideki Tokoro Firm Has Taken Initiative

Vending Machines For Whale Meat In Japan: Whale meat is now being provided to people in Japan through vending machines. You will be surprised that this new way of selling this fish meat has been adopted in this country not because of the increasing consumption but because of the decreasing demand. Through this, it is expected to increase the sale of this meat there again. A Japanese whaling firm in the country plans to open 100 such outlets.

Initiative to increase sales of whale meat

There was a time when the consumption of whale meat was at its peak in Japan. In the early 1960s, the Japanese used to be very fond of whale meat, but when other sources of protein became available in the country at cheap prices, the Japanese started distancing themselves from this meat. Along with this, there was also an issue of organizations opposing whale meat. Because of this, those who wanted to taste the Japanese whale meat also refrained from eating this meat in view of the protest.

Now, after 62 years, Japan has taken an initiative to increase the use of whale meat. On Tuesday, January 24, a Japanese whaling firm in Yokohama launched vending machines offering whale sashimi, whale steak and whale bacon. Through these, whale meat sales have been declining for a long time and after many supermarkets have stopped selling this meat, it is expected to increase its sales again.

Welcomed wearing a whale hat

Hideki Tokoro is a firm selling whale meat through vending machines in Yokohama. The firm’s president, Kyodo Senpaku, along with his colleagues, wear whale-shaped hats and greet incoming customers in Japanese style. This new store is completely machine based.

There is no sales girl or boy here. The district where these three vending machines have been installed is Motomachi. It is famous as an upmarket shopping district of fashion boutiques and bakeries. The firm has recently opened two such outlets in Tokyo. The firm plans to open a fourth outlet in the western city of Osaka next month i.e. February and it expects to open 100 such outlets in Japan in the coming 5 years.

so people can eat whale meat

Hideki Tokoro told Reuters at the launch, “There are many major supermarkets that are afraid of being harassed by anti-whaling groups, so they won’t use whale and there are many people who want to eat whale but can’t.” .” The firm’s president, Kyodo Senpaku, said, “Therefore, we are opening the store with the idea that we can provide people with a place where they can eat whale meat.” Whales caught in Japan are used in abundance for the sale of whale meat and other products. Spokesperson of this company says that they are sold at prices ranging from 1,000 yen i.e. $8 and Rs 652 to 3,000 yen i.e. $23 and Rs 1874.

Eating whale is part of Japanese culture

The Japanese government says that eating whale is a beloved part of Japanese culture. Significantly, the consumption of whale meat, which was at its peak in the early 1960s, has registered a steady decline as other protein sources became available at cheaper prices. Government data shows that whale meat consumption in Japan totaled 1,000 tonnes in 2021, while chicken consumption was 2.6 million tonnes and beef consumption was 1.27 million tonnes. At its peak in 1962, annual whale meat consumption was 233,000 tonnes.

Conservationists have objections

Whale conservationists believe the move to promote whale meat is a deliberate attempt to drum up interest in the endangered trade. Katrin Mathes, chief of Japan policy for Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), a global charity, said: “Most Japanese people have never tried it. So if someone is not really interested in this meat, you can How can you say national culture?”

The International Whaling Commission (IWC), the global body that oversees whale conservation, banned the whaling trade in 1986 after some species were on the verge of extinction. But Japan continued to hunt whales for the purpose of research. Now Japan is out of IWC and in 2019 it resumed commercial whaling.

Some people passing by the whale vending machine said that they are ready to eat whale, but they did not make any special effort for it. “I wouldn’t make a special effort to reach the vending machine to buy whale meat because I usually eat chicken,” 28-year-old customer service worker Urara Inamoto told Reuters. However, advocates of eating whale meat talk about its high protein quality and less contribution to its carbon foot print as compared to other meats.

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