A Japanese whaling firm unveiled vending machines offering whale sashimi, whale steak and whale bacon in Yokohama on Tuesday in hopes of reviving sales of a food long in decline and shunned by many supermarkets.
“There are so many major supermarkets that are afraid of being harassed by anti-whaling groups so they won’t use whale. So there are many people who want to eat whale but can’t,” Tokoro, the firm owner said at the launch.
“Therefore, we are opening stores with the thought that we can provide a place where those people can eat.”
Though the government maintains that eating whale is a cherished part of Japan’s culture, consumption peaked in the early 1960s and has steadily declined as other protein sources became available and affordable.
Whale meat advocates point to its high protein content and low carbon footprint compared with other meats.