Moonie Sushi Business Linked To Japanese Whaling
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 03:24:09 PM EST
"Moon preaches that gays are “dung-eating dogs,” Jews brought on the Holocaust by betraying Jesus, and the U.S. Constitution should be scrapped in favor of a system he calls “Godism” — with him in charge."
--- Journalist John Gorenfeld, author of a 2008 book on Moon and his Unification church, describing Moon's views in a 2004 Salon story
As a little-noticed Chicago Tribune expose' reported in 2006, most of America's sushi restaurants were being supplied by a fishing conglomerate of prominent American cult leader Sun Myung Moon - who said he was the Second Coming of Jesus and claimed to have personally caused the physical reincarnation, on Earth, of Hitler and Stalin.

How does Unification Church head Sun Myung Moon finance the Washington Times, an exceedingly partisan newspaper that loses perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars a year?

How does cult leader Moon, well connected to the powerful Bush family and who has boasted of spending "hundreds of millions" to influence American politics, bankroll the American religious right?

The answer is fishy, literally.

As Moon predicted over two and a half decades ago, Americans have taken to raw fish and Moon's Unification Church has been on hand to cash in.

As the April 2006 Chicago Tribune expose' related: "The Moon followers' seafood operation is driven by a commercial powerhouse, known as True World Group. It builds fleets of boats, runs dozens of distribution centers and, each day, supplies most of the nation's estimated 9,000 sushi restaurants".

Recently, True World Foods was implicated in an an illegal shark poaching ring, but this summer the company plans to profit from the growing American taste for Sushi in a venture that may prove even less politically and culturally savory. True World Food's partner in a new supermarket frozen Sushi line planned for launch around the nation this summer, reports IPS News Service, is,

"Japan's Kyokuyo, a multinational seafood conglomerate, sells between 10 and 20 million cans of whale meat a year, according to an Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) report released Tuesday. 'Kyokuyo is breaking international laws,' said Alan Thornton, president of EIA, an environmental group based in the United States and Britain." [hat tip to Scoobie Davis ]
Just to be clear : eating the new frozen sushi line that's coming out this summer won't result in more whales being killed, it merely will increase the profits of the leading Japanese whaling company and send money to the Unification Church, which bankrolls the Washington Times and the America religious right. And, of course, the new sushi line will probably speed up the rate at which the world's oceans are being stripped of large fish.

Back in the early 1980's Unification Church head Sun Myung Moon advised his followers to go into fishing. In a 1983 Moon talk, given, judging by the title of this piece from the Unification Church's website, in Gloucester, Massachusetts, Sun Myung Moon explained:

"It is only a matter of time. The future of the ocean is inevitable. Is fish good for the diet? Ten or twenty years ago, Americans never even dreamed about eating anything raw, much less fish. Now they are going to Japanese restaurants and trying out the sushi and sashimi. If fish is going to be the main source of the human diet, what kind of fish would be the best to supply it? We have to produce a large fish and utilize all its qualities. What kind of fish should we use? Whales? Tunas? And what else? Shark! Actually, whales are not good to use for feeding lots of people. They are too large. They only give birth to one calf per cow and it takes a long time for them to gestate.

Let's look at the tuna and the shark. They contain the tastiest kind of meat. That's true!"

Reporters Monica Eng, Delroy Alexander and David Jackson explained in an April 2006 expose' on True World Foods and Moon's raw fish empire published in the Chicago Tribune :

"On a mission from their leader, five young men arrived in Chicago to open a little fish shop on Elston Avenue. Back then, in 1980, people of their faith were castigated as "Moonies" and called cult members. Yet the Japanese and American friends worked grueling hours and slept in a communal apartment as they slowly built the foundation of a commercial empire....

In a remarkable story that has gone largely untold, Moon and his followers created an enterprise that reaped millions of dollars by dominating one of America's trendiest indulgences: sushi". One Unification Church member, Takeshi Yashiro "serves as a top executive of a sprawling conglomerate that supplies much of the raw fish Americans eat."

Moon's project of encouraging the American taste for raw fish has proven startlingly prescient and and wildly successful. Raw Tuna and shark meat is indeed tasty, so tasty in fact that Tuna and sharks are disappearing from the World's oceans - as are whales.

American Sushi eaters have largely been unaware of the extent to which their raw fish cravings have helped finance the American religious right and the exceedingly partisan Washington Times, a paper recently troubled, writes Max Blumenthal for The Nation, "by allegations of racism, sexism and unprofessional conduct".

Now, this summer, as Americans snack on True World Food's new Sushi Line, they can contemplate the prospect that they are plumping the profitability of a financial venture that has been slaughtering whales every year for decades. As Stephen Leahy of IPS news continues:

"Since the 1930s, Kyokuyo has been profiting from the deaths of an estimated 130,000 great whales," Thornton told IPS.

There has been a global ban on whaling since 1986. However, the Japanese claim the 1,000 or more whales they hunt each year in the Antarctic Ocean are for scientific research. Whale meat is found in leading Japanese supermarkets, and Kyokuyo is perhaps the leading distributor, he says.

As one website devoted to the messily grotesque reality of whaling relates, whaling is an exceedingly gory, and some would say quite cruel, enterprise. Can the politically connected "True Father" and "Messiah", as Moon has declared himself, who "collects heads of state" almost as a hobby, successfully launch a financial venture linked to the slaughter of whales ?

This Spring, George Bush Senior longtime friend and beneficiary of Sun Myung Moon's financial largesse, will share a stage with the wealthy cult leader at an event commemorating the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Washington Times. Will Greenpeace USA be on hand to protest ?  Can Moon go head to head with American environmentalist mores ?

Stay tuned.

"The five great saints and many other leaders in the spirit world, including even Communist leaders such as Marx and Lenin, who committed all manner of barbarity and murders on earth, and dictators such as Hitler and Stalin, have found strength in my teachings, mended their ways and been reborn as new persons... They have declared to all Heaven and Earth that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is none other than humanity's Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent." --- Sun Myung Moon, March 23, 2004, Dirksen Senate Office Building, during event, attended by over 80 members of Congress, in which Moon was crowned "king of the world".



Display:
no more sushi for me!

by NancyP on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 06:15:51 PM EST
I could never understand eating bait anyway!
(GD&R)

by ArchaeoBob on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 07:15:19 PM EST
Parent

But, I love whales too !

Also, I posted this on the Daily Kos and the initial reaction was rather hostile. I thought it odd.

by Bruce Wilson on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 07:19:05 PM EST
Parent

Not sure what lead so many off the subject. The commenter saying "Moon is not the enemy"... I found odd. I wouldn't use the phrase "Moon is the enemy" myself but the poster didn't seem to have a clue who Moon was or that he is the enemy of the constitution and our form of government, not to mention anything liberal.

One poster seemed to be saying "the world is going to end anyway, so what's your beef?" I wonder why someone like that is even posting at Kos, they should be out flying a kite or something.

Although I agree that looking at the larger picture of Moon should be done and boycotting anything one can which is tied to him is good...I think what may have gotten lost in the shuffle is this progression and the point the anti-whaling people were making from my understanding.

That is...Moon's True World Foods has signed an agreement they call a "marriage" with Japan's Kyokuyo which has been breaking international laws against whaling for years. The whalemeat they produce is not expected to be in any sushi Moon's organization is selling but Moon has signed on to work with this whale slaughtering outfit.

The point is that this is the first time a company which is in the USA has done business with this disgusting organization. This is the first time the anti-whaling community has had a way to protest the Kyokuyo since TWF is working with them to market sushi in grocery stores here.

"Kyokuyo is breaking international laws," said Alan Thornton, president of EIA, an environmental group based in the United States and Britain.

"Since the 1930s, Kyokuyo has been profiting from the deaths of an estimated 130,000 great whales," Thornton told IPS.

There has been a global ban on whaling since 1986. However, the Japanese claim the 1,000 or more whales they hunt each year in the Antarctic Ocean are for scientific research. Whale meat is found in leading Japanese supermarkets, and Kyokuyo is perhaps the leading distributor, he says.

"To be clear, whale meat is not being sold in the U.S.," said Kitty Block, director of Treaty Law, Oceans, and Wildlife Protection at the Humane Society International (HSI).

"What we want is to make sure no U.S. company is involved in any way with killing whales," Block said in an interview.

Kyokuyo recently partnered with True World Foods of New Jersey, a leading seafood and sushi distributor with 280 million dollars in annual sales, to market frozen sushi under the brand name "Polar Seas Frozen Sushi". The product is slated to hit grocery stores here as early as this summer.

Block and other activists are asking grocery stores to "think twice before placing Polar Seas products on their shelves".

So what they are getting at, though they have not officially called for it, is boycotting "Polar Seas Frozen Sushi" which is a product of both companies. Polar Seas is already supposed to in Food Lions on the east coast.

by Lou on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 12:38:03 AM EST
Parent

I responded to a commenter who stated, in a critique of what I wrote, that "Moon is not the enemy".

I wrote that I never stated Moon is "the enemy" and, indeed, I make it a point to never label any person or group as "the enemy" ; that's language of demonization we try to avoid here at Talk To Action.

And, I'm well aware that Moon has stated his hostility to American Democracy. I done a bit of coverage of Moon here on this forum, and so you might want to read my posts to get a bearing on the extent of my knowledge of Moon which, while certainly only a fraction of what writers such as Frederick Clarkson and John Gorenfeld know on the subject, is somewhat less than causal.

by Bruce Wilson on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 06:54:00 AM EST
Parent

Sorry if cornfused. I wasn't too clear about the KOS post. I used the term "poster" above when I should have used "commenter" - I know you wouldn't use that "enemy" term also and most of the rest of my post was for other's consumtion. I know you know this subject better than most.

tks

by Lou on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 12:41:03 AM EST
Parent







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