Dolphin activist Ric O’Barry ordered to leave Japan

AP

U.S. animal rights activist Ric O’Barry, star of “The Cove,” an Oscar-winning documentary about the fishing village of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, where dolphins are trapped and hacked to death, has been ordered to leave Japan.

O’Barry, the former dolphin trainer for the “Flipper” TV series, was detained upon arrival Monday at Narita airport.

Authorities decided Friday to turn down his appeal to get into the country, according to his son, Lincoln O’Barry. His son and lawyer say immigration officials accuse O’Barry of lying during questioning and having ties to the anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd, both of which O’Barry denies.

Immigration officials said they cannot comment on individual cases.

O’Barry heads the Dolphin Project, which aims to protect dolphins worldwide. He regularly visits Taiji, the fishing village portrayed in “The Cove,” which won the 2009 Academy Award for best documentary. In the film, dolphins get herded into a cove and speared to death, turning the waters red with blood.

“I’m incarcerated, on trumped up charges,” Ric O’Barry said in an email provided by his son. “In a world where so much that is wild and free has already been lost to us, we must leave these beautiful dolphins free to swim as they will and must.”

Ric O’Barry has refused the deportation order and was transported to another detention facility near Narita airport, his son said.

O’Barry’s lawyer, Takashi Takano, who visited him earlier Friday, said O’Barry was alone but in good spirits. The government was expected to issue a formal warrant and physically deport him, Takano said.

O’Barry has been questioned by Japanese immigration before, but this is the first time he has been detained and barred from entry.

The immigration officials questioning O’Barry are arguing they can’t believe him because he has lied to them before, such as by saying he wouldn’t attend a Tokyo event called Japan Dolphins Day in August last year, when he ended up going, according to Takano.

Officials and fishermen in Taiji have defended the hunt as traditional, saying that eating dolphin meat is no different than eating beef or chicken.

  • http://batman-news.com Zetobelt

    It’s perfectly easy to understand Japan’s position.
    I don’t believe the US would allow to enter the country some activist that traspassed on restricted areas.

    • brwstacsj

      They don’t trespass on restricted areas. The cannot or they will be arrested and deported. This past summer Ric O’Barry had a Risso dolphin die practically at his feet. He could not enter the water to provide aid for the Risso. He had to wait passively while the fisherman came and rounded it up for slaughter.

    • brwstacsj

      They don’t trespass on restricted areas. The cannot or they will be arrested and deported. This past summer Ric O’Barry had a Risso dolphin die practically at his feet. He could not enter the water to provide aid for the Risso. He had to wait passively while the fisherman came and rounded it up for slaughter.

    • brwstacsj

      My comments were removed and they were not profane. The were civil and factual. I highly disrespect the staff of this online newspaper. You have no honor.

    • kobekid

      O’Barry never trespassed in ‘restricted areas’. And while we are on the subject, the cove in question is in a national park.

    • kobekid

      O’Barry never trespassed in ‘restricted areas’. And while we are on the subject, the cove in question is in a national park.

  • skillet

    I love dolphins. But I undestand Japan too. Law is the law.

    • Philosopher

      O’Barry hasn’t broken the law so the “law” here is being used to silence a man who embarrasses Japan.

      • Clickonthewhatnow

        Sure. He came in before and said he wouldn’t go to particular events, then went to particular events. I wonder why the Immigration Department might have something against a potential visitor to their country who outright lied to them in the past.

      • Philosopher

        The events he attended were not illegal. His attendance wasn’t illegal. Changing his itinerary wasn’t illegal. Not telling immigration officials about the change in his itinerary wasn’t illegal.
        On the other hand, them detaining him on false charges is illegal. They are the ones lying now.

      • Clickonthewhatnow

        If a country’s immigration department stops you upon entering the country and clarifies with you that you will not go to a particular event AND YOU AGREE TO NOT GO, and then go anyhow, then you can figure on having a difficult time entering that country from then on in. Lying to immigration has that effect. I don’t see how this is a difficult thing to comprehend.

        If he had come into Japan, and when they asked him if he was going to go to the event, said “Yes, and it is my legal right to do so”, that’s one thing. Outright lying to them is another.

      • Philosopher

        Do you know of any other country where the immigration department would even ask you if you’re going to attend a legal event? I don’t.

        O’Barry’s lawyer reported that he was asked if he was going to attend an event and he truthfully answered no. He changed his plans later and did attend. There was nothing illegal in him attending nor changing his mind without telling immigration. They can ask entrants what they’re going to do in Japan. They can tell entrants not to do something illegal. They have no power to arrest people for changing their itineraries and certainly no power to arrest people for attending legal events.

        In almost every other country in the world, what happens in Taiji is considered extremely cruel and is illegal. In many other countries, they make money from dolphins by running dolphin watching tours. Wouldn’t that be a great way to re-purpose the Taiji dolphin industry?

      • Tamas Barkoczi

        Its not illegal. Taiji is in Japan.

        What is USA does, make wars..etc for their “freedom” thats illegal.

      • Clickonthewhatnow

        So why don’t they take the dolphins in, bring them to an aquarium and kill them humanely? There’s nothing wrong with that, is there? Or is there something else that makes killing dolphins cruel? Please, do tell.

        And when the immigration department of any country you are visiting asks questions about what events you might visit, and you say you will not and then end up going, expect them to suspect you of outright lying. Japan is supposed to take him at his word ever again? No, he should expect to have to go through a thorough questioning anytime he comes here from now on.

      • Philosopher

        Your first question isn’t for me to answer. You should be asking the Taiji dolphin hunters that one.

        Repeating your point about the immigration department doesn’t make it valid.

      • Clickonthewhatnow

        Sure it does. If any immigration department asks you about your plans to go or not go somewhere in their country, answer honestly. But I’m sure the activist had no plans to go to an event that matched his ideals and only changed his plans by chance. Do you really think Japan should trust this guy at all? Or is trust not important when letting people into your country?

      • Philosopher

        Your grasp of logic is as poor as your grasp of ethics.

      • Clickonthewhatnow

        And yet whenever an immigration department for a country asks me what my plans are, I tell the truth. Must be doing something right. I have never been in a holding cell.

    • Philosopher

      O’Barry hasn’t broken the law so the “law” here is being used to silence a man who embarrasses Japan.

  • panic early

    Search for ” dolphin slaughter denmark” on youtube to see more videos. Cove was a set up for all you hypocritical activists in Europe and N.America.

    • Reza Tabibi

      It’s not Denmark. Search Faroe Islands and learn a little bit of geography first.

      • panic early

        The 1814 Treaty of Kiel granted Denmark control over the islands, along with two other Norwegian regions: Greenland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands have been a self-governing country within the Danish Realm since 1948.[9] The Faroese have control of most domestic matters; areas that remain the responsibility of Denmark include military defence, police, justice, currency and foreign affairs.[10] The Faroe Islands have representation in the Nordic Council as members of the Danish delegation.

        Thats from Wikipedia. Apology accepted lol.

        Nonetheless my point stands rock solid.

    • ネート

      Yep, a total set up. Never mind the massacres and captivity trading you can watch via live stream almost every day…

  • panic early

    Jp Times..tis tis for censoring my earlier post.

  • alain

    It is a very unfortunate situation

  • alain

    It is a very unfortunate situation

  • English ChapinSF

    20,000 dolphins a YEAR are brutally slaughtered in Japanese waters. Methods used would NOT be acceptable in in Japanese slaughterhouse as it takes 5 minutes or more to kill these sentient beings. All this done in front of their family members. This is inhumane and barbaric and the WHOLE world is opposed to this. Time for 100 or so fishermen of Taiji and the Japan gov to realize it is the 21st Century and this is unacceptable this day and age. This is NOT a criticism of the Japanese people but merely that this has to stop.

    • Clickonthewhatnow

      So you would be fine with the dolphins being captured, taken to something akin to a slaughterhouse for cows, and being killed there, quickly and in the same manner?

  • panic early

    Good point philosopher. It’s just that i thought Cove was a hit piece on Japanese when there is plenty footage easily accessible elsewhere.
    Seems to me it’s a deliberate manipulation to omit and make it out to be Japanese only coming from self enlightened activists.

    • Philosopher

      The Cove is about the Taiji dolphin slaughters. The dolphin hunters there are all Japanese. The Cove doesn’t condemn all Japanese people but it does ask the viewer to question whether the actions of those Japanese shown are ethical.
      There are other documentaries on the Faroe Island slaughters, some of which Ric O’Barry contributed to. Does their popularity relative to The Cove show hypocrisy on the part of the viewers? I don’t think so.

      • panic early

        Exactly, its about Taiji slaughter as opposed to dolphin slaughter. NO mention of other places in far more filmable Europe.
        As for ethics, the entire food farm industry destroys “pests” by the billions every year. Stop eating food.

      • Philosopher

        Panic, you’re free to make a documentary about dolphin and whale slaughter worldwide. It would be a great way to show the world what’s happening.

  • Sharad Majumdar

    What a dreary and combative old man. I wish he’s just shut up with his idiotic, unfair, untrue propaganda campaign. Dolphins are not endangered, so there is literally no argument to stop their slaughter except on this ridiculous namby-pamby “but they’re cute” argument. O’Barry needs to stop his frankly racist portrayal of the Japanese as the alien and cold-hearted “Other” that must be brought in line with Western “civilized” countries. Some countries eat turkeys; some eat horses; some eat frogs and some eat dolphins. Learn to tolerate differences.

    • Tamas Barkoczi

      100% agree