This is bold-faced racism in its most cynical form. Reading them conjures images of American wartime propaganda and also depictions of many Japanese people in The Cove. They are basically one and the same.
I don’t think Watson believes such accusations, although, for a guy whose grasp of history is so tenuous that he cites Francis Drake as a source of inspiration, I wouldn’t put anything past him. I think he knows that the Japanese, and Asians in general, are easy to demonize, because during determined moments in history denizens of the United States and Europe, as well as Australia, have felt acutely threatened by them. Depicting the Japanese as a savage and cruel people has been going on since they bombed Pearl Harbor and were knocking on the door of Northern Australia in 1942. It is also much easier to paint them in this light than it is to do the same with pretty, blonde-haired blue-eyed people in Norway and Iceland.
Whaling, by the way, was basically brought to a halt in Japan by the Second World War. However, after the “sick” and “perverse” US had razed most of the country with two atomic bombs and an extensive fire bombing campaign that left many, including some of my family (just children at the time) on the brink of starvation, none other than General Douglas Macarthur encouraged its reinstatement as a way to provide protein for the population.