The last whale: Japan's taste for whale


Reproduced courtesy of australianscreen online

Resource title: The last whale: Japan’s taste for whale

Digital resource identifier: R7094

Resource description
This clip shows images of Tokyo and includes interviews with various members of the Japanese community. The film was produced by Australian David Bradbury in response to the ongoing slaughter of whales.

Stage of schooling: Upper Primary

CCE focus: Citizenship in a Democracy


Japan's large population relies heavily on seafood, including whales. This resource provides different viewpoints about whaling, including:

  • the very cost of whale meat indicates that it is not a survival food

  • eating whale is a 'need of life' in Japan

  • the Japanese mass media misrepresents the complex issues of the whale debate

  • anti-whaling countries need to meet Japan halfway on the issue of whale conservation.Opportunities for Civics and Citizenship learning

Opportunities for Civics and Citizenship learning  

‘The last whale: Japan’s taste for whale’ provides opportunities for students to:

  • research the Australian government’s current position on whaling

  • consider issues and policy around conservation and endangered species

  • examine a conservation issue and how Australia has responded to it

  • discuss how Australia’s view on controversial issues can impact on our relationship with other countries.

Ideas for the classroom

  • Give out sticky notes to the class and ask students to write one piece of information they know about the issue of whaling. Once this task is completed, place the notes on one wall of the classroom.

  • Invite students to look at the ideas on the wall.

  • Explain to students that they will be watching an excerpt from the documentary ‘The last whale: Japan’s taste for whale’ and provide them with the background to its production.

  • While watching the clip, students are to conduct a force field analysis, listing the pros and cons of whaling as an industry.

  • Ask for student responses to the clip and discuss the stance of the Australian government towards whaling.

  • Complete the activity by asking students to write a letter to the current minister responsible for the environment, supporting further Australian government action against whaling in the Antarctic.