Alcoholic beverages are readily available at convenience stores and vending machines, liquor ads are often on evening television and building work ties by going drinking is common.
Katsuya Maruyama of Kurihama Alcoholism Center, a leading hospital for treating alcohol dependency, said Japan is too tolerant when it comes to drinking too much, which makes it hard for both society and alcoholics to realise they have a problem.
“There is no proper teaching on how alcohol can be dangerous, so no one knows alcoholism as a disease,” he said.
The spending review committee established by Japan’s new Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama, has recommended that funding for the Overseas Fishery Cooperation Foundation be cancelled after 2010.
The OFCF is the largest financer of the Tokyo-based Institute of Cetacean Research, which runs the Japanese whaling program. The whaling fleet usually sails for the Southern Ocean in mid-November, hunting whales for scientific research regardless of a moratorium on commercial whaling set by the International Whaling Commission in 1986.