Groups opposing dolphin hunt, Taiji to hold first meeting


Local leaders and activists waging a campaign against the annual dolphin slaughter in the whaling town of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, will hold their first meeting around Nov. 2 to exchange opinions, organizers of the meeting have said.

According to the organizers and Taiji officials, the meeting will be attended by Mayor Kazutaka Sangen, senior officials of a local fisheries cooperative association and representatives of the antihunt groups, including the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

The coastal town came under the spotlight in the Oscar-winning U.S. documentary film, “The Cove,” which depicts its dolphin hunts.

Activists have been protesting in the town since September, when fishermen began their annual hunt for dolphins, whales and other cetaceans in local waters.

The municipal government had been refusing to hold any talks with the antihunt groups, saying the hunting is “legal” and conducted with the permission of the prefectural governor.

At the meeting, the two sides will express their views and debate based on questions submitted earlier. The meeting will be fully open to the media.