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.

    • Michiko

      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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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….

    • lois27

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

    • 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!

  • 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.

  • 常光 渋谷

    Many of protesters seem to be foreigners.

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