Activists rally in Tokyo against dolphin cull


Environmentalists staged a rally in the capital Saturday to protest the start of Japan’s annual dolphin hunt, which was made infamous by an Academy Award-winning documentary.

The rally organizer, Action for Marine Mammals, said it was one of a number of rallies taking place around the world this weekend ahead of the season’s hunt in the fishing village of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture.

About 50 activists gathered in central Tokyo carrying banners that read: “Stop the slaughter.”

“Japanese people are responsible for stopping our country’s barbarian dolphin hunt,” said Toshiaki Morioka, head of the group, adding some members planned to travel to Taiji later.

The village drew global attention after “The Cove,” a hard-hitting film about the annual dolphin hunt, won the Academy Award for best documentary in 2010.

The “hunt” entails corralling hundreds of dolphins into a secluded bay, selecting a few dozen for sale to aquariums, and slaughtering the rest for meat. The hunt takes place over a period of months.

Marching side by side with the environmentalists, a dozen Japanese nationalists shouted through megaphones: “Get out of Japan! Hypocrites!”The nationalists accused the environmentalists of undermining Japan’s culture and traditions, labeling the demonstrators as “environmental terrorists.”

Some tried to break up the march, but the police separated them from the procession to prevent further clashes.

  • Murasaki

    Any gaikokujin in the group, arrest and deport with a 15 year ban on re-entry, They have no rights to protest on what Japanese kill or eat, when their countries kill animals for sports and fun and do not respect life.

    • Frank Thornton

      I’m sorry you have so much hatred towards gaikokujin in your heart. Having seen you comments in the past, I think I know where it comes from. I hope that you find peace with yourself, sometime in this lifetime.

      • Hi, he’s not one of us if my memory was right, I just wanted to tell it to you.
        Thus it’s not an address any of Japanese made, hope you’re not going to mistake it.

      • Murasaki

        Not a hate of Gaikokujin, a dislike for the ones that cause trouble in Japan.

        Gaikokujin living in Japan, follows Japanese laws, not cause problems, not trying to change Japan or Japanese, then hey I have no problems with them.


        Gaikokujin living in Japan, refuse to follow Japanese Laws, cause problems, try to change Japan and Japanese, then I will be happy to be in their face and help them be deported.

        I wish I could be in Taiji, I know I would be having fun there dealing with gaikokujin that should be thrown to the ground cuffed and sent to the nearest airport to be sent home and never be allowed back!

      • Guest

        May I ask, which law is it that is not being followed when gaikokujin complain or demonstrate?

        “I wish I could be in Taiji”, Yes, I almost forgot. You are the gaikokujin that “became” Japanese but decided not to complain about anything. I remember mentioning that it was quite an unfortunate decision made by you. I would much rather be the gaikokujin that tries to make Japan a better place than the “Japanese” that has decided to not complain about anything.

        I have lived in Japan for most of my life and most likely will stay here. However, I have decided not to become Japanese. You may have already found out why. Because, in Japan, gaikokujin is gaikokujin. You are just as gaikokujin as I am. The only difference is that you are a gaikokujin with the right to vote. That’s all. No matter what you do, you will still be treated as gaikokujin. If you go to a hotel, they will ask for a passport. You will tell them you’re Japanese. They’ll think, “You sure don’t LOOK Japanese”. Then, you’ll have to prove you’re Japanese. Since I was a kid, I was the “gaijin”. It will for ever seem to be a miracle to the people that I meet that I can speak Japanese and use “hashi” when I eat. Usually better than the Japanese people eating with me.

        No matter what you do, you will never be accepted as a “true” Japanese. That’s just the way it is.

        As one person mentioned in a comment, “he’s not one of us” “sometimes annoying us Japanese” “avoid getting mistaken for Japanese”

      • Toolonggone

        If your definition of “causing problems” is based on the quantitative data(i.e., people who are breaking the law), you’re already making a false argument. Japanese who are arrested for crimes are far exceeding a very small number of “Gaikokujin” who are arrested for doing so.

        In this case, it is Japanese who are creating Japan’s problems, I think.

      • Dave_Mowers

        …in other words, assimilation only. My God what a world we would have if every country held high nationalistic legal standards…oh wait, we had that world just prior to WWII.

    • Hi, I know you’re Australian, if my memory was right.
      I agree almost of this time your address, almost, not everything, and may I ask you some question or favor?
      Why are you claiming such a HN even which is apted to get mistaken for Japanese?
      And is there any of thought in you if it’s sometimes annoying us Japanese?
      Or is there any of your courtesy to avoid getting mistaken for Japanese?
      And why are you adopting private mode, is there anything you like to hide?
      Please forgive me if I’m going too far, since I’m doing this not in my first language, good day.

      • Murasaki

        Michiko, Yes I ‘WAS’ an Australian, I am now Japanese as I have Japanese Citizenship and use a Japanese name, I renounced my Birth Citizenship and Birth Name. The reason Murasaki is because in my Japanese name I use ‘紫’

        Now I will answer your Questions with a Question.

        ★☆Why are you claiming such a HN even which is apted to get mistaken for Japanese?☆★

        Why did you use the HN of ‘Nancy’ which would have given other on here the image you were ‘NOT’ Japanese, but Gaikokujin?

        ★☆And is there any of thought in you if it’s sometimes annoying us Japanese?☆★

        Do you think using the HN ‘Nancy’ when not a Gaikokujin would have annoyed the Gaikokujin?

        ★☆Or is there any of your courtesy to avoid getting mistaken for Japanese?☆★

        I am now Japanese so how can people be mistaken? I am ‘NOT’ gaikokujin .. 私は日本人です!

        ★☆And why are you adopting private mode, is there anything you like to hide?☆★

        Why do you need to know what comments I make on the net and where I make them?

        Have a good night.

    • Chibmie

      Your logic is so flawed by a misguided nationalism. Harming and killing animals by any group, regardless of national affiliation, is inexcusable. The dolphin trapping, killing, and capture in Taiji is about profit at the expense of these aimals–not a widely and long-held cultural tradition (not that that would justify the practice). As a person rooted in both Japan and the U.S., I abhor the annual Taiji massacre.

      • Murasaki

        Well as someone that eats whale and dolphin I support the collection of them.

      • tommy92

        You should be more upset with the pig and cow slaughter that goes on around the globe. Millions and millions. One culture telling another it is OK to eat this animal but not this one seems hypocritical and condescending. The annual chicken slaughter, or hunted deer, moose, etc. is much greater.

      • Love Pitbulls

        It’s not about what you eat but how you kill it. There is no way to kill a cetacean humanely. The extended hunt is abominably cruel, they are chased for miles, injure themselves on rocks, get torn apart by boat motors and killed with a spike to the head yielded manually that cannot match anything automatic for speed and less suffering. Yes it is barbaric and most countries have evolved. So your cow and chicken theory doesn’t hold water. These were Japanese people protesting in their OWN country because they realize it’s wrong.

    • Sam Gilman

      Err…what? People have a right to protest. A central pillar of an open society is that people have a right to peacefully assemble and express their opinions – and in accordance with the UN Declaration on the Human Rights of Individuals Who are not Nationals of the Country in Which They Live, this applies to gaikokujin too.

      If you want to deport people just for saying things you disagree with, you’re straying rather far indeed from the path of democracy.

  • Jameika

    I really don’t understand why nationalists are interested in this at all. Why conflate what a group of people do with an entire country in the first place.
    I am pretty sure that the protests are about the way that a specific group of people kill dolphins, not against this country as a whole. That seems clear.

    Does anyone have any insight into why this is?

    Yes, there is a history of eating sea mammals, but the history is pretty clear that it’s not an integral part of culture and certainly isn’t an integral part of modern culture, so I really don’t understand the focus.

    • Foothills Gal

      Taiji was once a whaling community. Dolphins were not on the menu until about 60 years ago or so, and only until modern days could they herd hundreds at a time into a cove for mass slaughter. There is no honor or decency in this… and this is not about the tradition of a small fishing village. As you say, we are living in modern days, and a small village that once had to eek out any survival in any manner can now enjoy more convenience.
      This is about HUGE amounts of money… that is the crux of the issue, which the fishermen do not discuss when they (rightly I suppose) claim that no one should be allowed to tell them what to eat. The mayor of Taiji of course says nothing (greasy palm?) Japanese government? Same thing? I suspect so. Follow the money.

      This is not about culture; this is not about telling people what to do when it’s nobody’s business. This is ALL about MONEY! Japan has at least 100 dolphinariums in their small country, and the people (or so I understand), as a whole, love dolphins and have no idea their entertainers are captive beings stolen from their loving families. Latin America is growing in demand, as is the middle east… it is becoming in vogue to have people pay piles of cash for the privilege of swimming with a prisoner.
      So very sad.
      And don’t just take my word for it… watch “The Cove” or “Blackfish” (just released this year) and you will see the horrors we have inflicted on cetaceans and the lying lying liars that profit from in under the guise of “education.”
      It is all so very sad.

      • Monica Gilbert

        Wow! I was going to say much the same thing. Excellent points but you need to add that each dolphin makes at least $150,000 for the ‘fishermen’. That is by far the ONLY reason why this misguided drive hunt takes place every year. It’s not tradition. SeaWorld and other marine circuses have only been around since the lat 60s/early 70s.

        Just the fact that dolphin meat contains enormous amounts of mercury, cadmium and PCBs as well as chemicals of the dioxin group should indicate that it’s not fit for human consumption. If the Japanese want to imbibe on dolphin, I would question their sanity.

        Once again – NOT TRADITION. it’s all about profit.

      • Jameika

        I’m not sure why you responded to my comment. I don’t think anything you said is wrong, but I was asking about why the right wing has become involved. I’m very dubious about their interest and was curious about it. I don’t need to be convinced of right or wrong.

      • robertwgordonesq

        Richard O’Barry (original dolphin trainer for the “Flipper” Television show) and central figure in “The Cove” shock-u-mentary made much profit off of dolphins…he even said in the Cove film that he was buying a new Porsche automobile every year off the money he made off of dolphins.

        Everything is about money.


        There are horrors in human trafficking for the sex trade.

        Aren’t humans worth more than dolphins?

        I don’t see the Sea Shepherds taking on human traffickers.

        Are young women being held prisoner less important than some dolphins?


      • Monica Gilbert

        And what are you doing about it Robert? Are you organising protest marches and worldwide rallies and circulating petitions to stop human traffickers and put an end to young women being held as sex slaves? There are many organisations to speak out for human beings.

        Sea Shepherd is focussed on the ocean and its creatures. I would have thought the name of the group made that quite apparent. They’re not called People Shepherd.

        As for Ric O’Barry making a profit – why shouldn’t he? The man is 73 years old and he spends his life travelling around the world bringing attention to the plight of cetaceans.

      • robertwgordonesq

        What am I doing?

        I refrain from using prostitutes.

        My point is, if the Sea Shepherds concern is about the sanctity of “intelligent life” it would seem they should put more effort into saving humans than whales.

        If you don’t like dolphin hunts, don’t eat dolphin meat.

        Further, if it is a concern for the environment, cattle farming is a worse environmental and health hazard than dolphin hunting.

        So they should all be vegetarians…as I am.

        What Sea Shepherds is doing (in my opinion) is simply disguising racism as altruism which to me is the worst kind of “activism”.

        I am simply pointing out this contradiction.

        Your point was that because the Japanese fishermen made money off the dolphin hunt that this was somehow an inferior motive than hunting due to cultural tradition.

        In response, I pointed out that O’Barry made a lot of money exploiting dolphins himself. First as a dolphin trainer and now as a dolphin “advocate”.

        Hence the same argument could be made that these “protesters” are all about “the Benjamins”.[Fn 1]

        Therefore, should they stop protesting?

        Besides, in the film “The Cove”, O’Barry said he offered to pay the fishermen not to hunt the dolphins (implying O’Barry has access to copious funds to compensate these fishermen), but the fishermen *refused*, hence it can’t possibly be “only about money”.

        If someone says “I’ll pay you not to work, and you can do anything else you want to do.” If it’s really about money, you’d typically take the offer.

        The fact that the fishermen refused implies that it can’t be that the hunt is merely about money.

        [Fn 1] “The Benjamins” is an American slang term meaning “money”. This is because the portrait of Benjamin Franklin is embossed on $100 bills in the United States and $100 bills are viewed as the sine qua non of “money” or “wealth”.

      • Guy DE LA RUPELLE

        Sea Shepherd goal is the protection of the oceans and marine life (it says so clearly on their website)….anywhere on the planet. There are other groups working on human traficking problems.

    • robertwgordonesq

      Nationalist are involved because Ric O’Barry turned this into a racial issue with his film “The Cove”.

      After watching that film, all I was left with was the impression that the Japanese are an evil and mean group of *people*.

      It wasn’t a “pro-dolphin” film as much as it was an anti-Japanese film.

      If it was pro-dolphin, why did they exclude mention of Denmark which has a much more gruesome dolphin and whale hunt than Japan?


      Hence I think Japanese Nationalist rightly see this as a racial issue as “The Cove” made it into a racial issue by the carefully orchestrated slant of their film.

      • Jameika

        So they’re upset because of a film. Hmm. That seems pretty stupid, but, then again, they are living in a fantasy world with made-up history, so I suppose it should not surprise me.

        It helps no one (nor any dolphin, apparently) for people to stoke the flames of nationalism, nor for anyone to lose sight of real issues due to irrational connections to what are artificial groups (as the origins of countries are artificial and arbitrary), but this is how humans the world over define themselves.

        I did not see that film. I find it disappointing that, as you say, it was framed that way.

      • robertwgordonesq

        Exactly my point.

        “These [anti-dolphin hunt activists] are upset because of a film?…that seems pretty stupid…[but most people believe what they see in the movies without thinking critically] so I suppose it should not surprise me.”

        Sorry to use your argument against you (or at least against the anti-dolphin hunt protesters).

        I couldn’t resist.

        I recommend seeing the film though. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars ranking as it was well made and very entertaining as a film, however it is very deceptive as a “documentary”.

        Hence it was a “shock-u-mentary”.

  • tommy92

    Why is eating a dolphin worse than eating a chicken?

    In Florida you can eat alligator, in Australia you can eat kangaroo, in Canada you can eat deer, in France you can eat foie gras, people around the world eat horse, eat turtles and cows are slaughtered by the millions.

    The pig slaughter around the globe is much bigger and much more pervasive.

    • Marina Faucon Fragoso Cesar

      Nobody is saying anything about “how NOT bad is the slaughter of other animals”… but THESE people are fighting against the DOLPHIN SLAUGHTER. If you are against the PIG SLAUGHTER, go ahead and tell to the world and try to stop it instead of despise what other people are doing to try to save other animals. You should have this hostile attitude with people who are against LIFE (human or not) not with people WHO CARES about them! The world is upsidedown….

      • tommy92

        I see what you are saying. Slaughtering animals is bad, a moral statement. I have a problem though when people say eating one animal is better than eating another animal. Hindus don’t eat beef, but would would be completely ignored by the West if they protested the killing of cows (maybe they do protest, but no one pays attention to it.)

        Some people say this is different because it is cruel, but slaughtering animals is cruel. All over the world animals are killed for food and the majority of the world does not use Western standards. Even in Western countries people would be shocked and disgusted by a modern slaughterhouses. Killing dolphins happens in the open, but killing pigs and cows is hidden in a slaughter factory.

      • $14141131

        No one is against PIG SLAUGHTER. It was just a comparison on the degree people get pissed by DOLPHIN SLAUGHTER while other animals are slaughtered worse than one can imagine for food. Take cockfighting as an example and sanely compare their loss to dolphins. Politics makes a mountain out of a mole hill.

      • AnimuX

        Plenty of people oppose cruelty in agriculture and oppose the slaughter of all sorts of animals. You can google it…

      • Dave_Mowers

        All male baby chickens are placed on conveyor belts after birth, literally, then sent to steel grinders which crush and rend them into pieces used as feed for chickens, fish, pigs and cows. An estimated 200 million a year are slaughtered this way by one producer. All this so-called “technology” and “Christianity” but we cannot find a way to create free protein bars from non-animal sources?

        I hope the Cattle-Zetas understand when they arrive…

    • lois27

      A dolphin is more intelligent, a sentient being, more so than the others you mention. Foie gras is not a species.

      • Murasaki

        So you think some lives are worth more then others? Hate to tell you this but all life is the same, every animal has the right to live without being killed for fun, which seems a common practice in the other countries. All living beings have a right to live without humans claiming there are too many so time to cull half of them. Funny how 7 billions humans and no one has decided to start cull at least half of them, we are the worlds biggest parasites.

        As for Foie gras, you like the idea of a animal having a tube stuck down its throat and force-feed so its liver can be ripped out and eaten, because hey it is not a dolphin?

        Hypicrits should not claim one animals life is more valuable then another animals life, or tell others they cannot eat this animal or that animal because of your view point, while you kill and eat another animals.

        In India they do not eat beef because cows are sacred animals, so you happy at being told to give up eating beef? I would say NO … So as you do not like being told to stop eating beef or keeping cow caged up to produce milk, then do not tell others they cannot eat whale or dolphins or cage them up.

      • Monica Gilbert

        Ah, if only humans could be culled as easily as those without a voice. We are a virus on the earth and due to the fact that we have treated this blue planet like a garbage dump, she will cease to support us unless we rapidly change our ways.

        And your argument that those who eat beef/chicken/pig/goat and consume dairy or eggs doesn’t apply to me, so I have a right to comment and say that eating any meat isn’t good for the planet but to eat dolphin or whale is actually insane. Seriously. As apex predators, they are the top of the food chain and the way Fukushima is spewing out nuclear water, would anyone in their right mind actually want to eat marine mammals?

        Once again, it’s not about some outdated and dangerous tradition of eating dolphin meat, it’s about the profit the Taiji fishermen and their puppet masters make from catching young dolphins for the marine aquarium industry.

        Not tradition. Profit. Everything else is just a smoke screen.

      • tommy92

        Yeah but foie gras is made from an animal, a duck, that is tortured (forced fed) to create a food for people. Inhumane treatment, more widespread (all over the world) than dolphin killing. But it is more culturally acceptable to Europeans and in the West in general.

      • robertwgordonesq

        If dolphins are so intelligent…why don’t they just swim away from Japan right before the dolphin hunt?

        It’s a very big ocean.

        Ergo…they can’t be all that intelligent.

    • oniriq

      Sorry, I don’t find that eating alligator, kangaroo, foie gras is convenient. In Canada they slaughter US horses in a horrible way that is a shame for both countries (they forgot that now we see all these bad behavior at TV worldwide and that they cannot hide anymore their barbaric killing). Dolphins and other sea mammals belong to the sea and not to Japanese fishermen. Furthermore, they way dolphins are killed in Taiji is the most inhuman and cruel way ever seen (sorry for my English!)

    • Ken5745

      And the US, Canada, UK, EU, Australia and New Zealand eat the most amount of shark meat made into fish & chips, in the world. This is ok by their Western double standard? I guess so.

    • Timothy Wright Art

      So you are suggesting that if you cannot cure all the world’s evils why cure any? Thank goodness most don’t share your apathetic views.

      Or maybe you think that pointing out that people doing one thing and not doing some other thing is a relevant? Well It isn’t.

  • Sheila Daniel

    There are protests in other counties about the abuse and slaugher of animals. I used to live in Japan. The issue with Taiji is to educate people about what is happening and why. Japanese people are trying to educate other Japanese people and that is what the protests In Japan are about. Dolphins are not only slaughtered for meat, they are ripped from a free life and forced into slavely for profit. Seaworld and other marine parks in other countries are routinely protested against for this type of slavery. We are also told that dolphins are killed because they are pests that eat fish. What gives us the right to kill them because they eat fish? Low fish population is due to human overfishing – not dolphins or other marine animals. Japanese people are allowed to peacefully protest in other countries so why can non Japanes protest in Japan as long as it is peaceful! All dolphin protests around the world were peaceful ones. The only ones being agressive from reports that I saw were the Japanese Nationalists. I swam in the ocean with wild dolphins and let me tell you that they are beautiful, soulful, curious and intelligent creatures that deserve better treatment than what they get in Taiji and other places around the world (which are also protested against). They don’t deserve to suffer as they do in the hunts. If you must eat some of them then make it a quick, painless death. A spike in the head is not quick or painless. So dont make the issue about non Japanese people trying to tell Japan what to do – it’s about educating he world including Japanese people. Make it an issue of humanity for all creatures! Peace to all!

    • Foothills Gal

      Right on the button, Sheila Daniel dear… I have had the privilege of their company too… there is nothing like it. I believe them to be the wiser beings.
      Much love to you…

    • Dave_Mowers

      …and as we begin to ramp up our own “free” colonization of local space humans should not find it at all disagreeable if perhaps we finally meet more advanced animal species than ourselves who enslave us, murder us, eat us and sell specific body parts or skins from us for their own fashion products shall we?

      Watch “The Cove” on Net Flix.

  • Rebane

    How come people are so less tolerant of killing dolphins than reindeer for human consumption. Dolphin meat is no less delicious than reindeer meat.

    • Mike Wyckoff

      Because of the movie flipper

  • 常光 渋谷

    Many of protesters seem to be foreigners.

    It is doubtful whether this demonstration is expressing the Japanese intention.