Dolphin activist Ric O’Barry says he’s a political prisoner of Japan

by and

Reuters

A U.S. activist opposing the dolphin hunt in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, now in detention near Narita International Airport said Tuesday he is a political prisoner for his efforts to save dolphins.

Ric O’Barry, who was featured in the Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove,” has been held since being denied entry to Japan on Jan. 18 and faces deportation.

His work to help dolphins was highlighted in the 2009 film about the annual cull in Taiji in which hundreds of dolphins are driven to shore and killed.

“I’m a political prisoner. I think there are higher-ups in government who are cracking down on those who speak out against their war on dolphins,” O’Barry said in a telephone interview from an immigration detention facility near Narita airport.

O’Barry and his lawyer said he is accused of lying to officials about his activities on a previous trip to Japan. But the 76-year-old denied that, saying he entered the country as a tourist as he had before.

“Never once have I broken the law, never once have I lied to immigration,” he said.

The Taiji hunt has become an international cause celebre since “The Cove” showed it in all its bloody detail. Caroline Kennedy, the current U.S. ambassador to Japan, expressed concern.

Many Japanese say the hunt, which takes place at this time of year, is a tradition in an area where whales and dolphins have been hunted for years and they say the opposition is unfair.

O’Barry was arrested in Taiji last year and detained for not carrying his passport.

He has refused to leave the country voluntarily after an appeal was struck down last week, with the next step a forcible deportation order. Immigration officials declined to comment.

Conditions at the detention center, which he described as crowded and noisy, along with hours of questioning, had taken a toll, he said.

He said he got at most two hours of sleep a night and was taken to a hospital on Tuesday for checks after suffering chest pains.

Lawyer Takashi Takano said O’Barry would comply with a deportation order and then consider other options, such as filing a suit from overseas.

“Throwing a person like this out of the country gives the world the impression that Japan is not a free country,” he said.

Leaving Japan would be heartbreaking, O’Barry said, but efforts to stop the hunt would not stop.

“It’s not about me. There are others and others will go there,” he said.

  • Don Corleone

    Sorry, but I have to side with this communist – killing dolphins and whales in the name of tradition is barbaric and frankly quite stupid.

    • J. S. Hansenius

      maybe so, I would agree but I don’t think society should just capitulate to activist. He was hoping he would be arrested, that’s why he is here to be arrested. He is not here to enjoy the food and sites…that’s for sure.

      • Bruce H. Crocker

        Here you are again posting comment that you cannot substantiate. He has been going to Japan, as well as many other countries, for years, the last 14 in the case of Japan in order to follow his passion to help win freedom for the dolphin. What basis other than supposition do you have for stating that he was hoping to be be arrested. He did not wish to be arrested, he wished to show solidarity with those on the ground in Taiji who are monitoring the activities being carried out against the dolphins, so you do have one thing correct…he does not visit Japan for the sole purpose of enjoying the cuisine and the sights, although you might be surprised at the fact that he has strong feelings for Japan and its people. He, nor any of us who protest against what is being done to and with the dolphins don’t ask anyone to capitulate to our activism…we simply are trying to educate you about a terrible wrong. We do this by providing you with photographs, video material and, YES, eyes on the ground where the wrongs are being committed. Is it your contention that Japan, or any other country where this takes place, should not be called to task for something such as the abduction of the young dolphin from its family and subsequent sale into a life of slavery? That, sir, in a nutshell, is what drives Mr. O’Barry and like-minded people such as myself to dedicate ourselves to a fight for cetacean freedom. You should take some time to research the dolphin and then you might, after actually viewing what is done to them in that cove, have a greater understanding and sympathy for what we see daily!!!

      • J. S. Hansenius

        I don’t need to substantiate it, that’s what the Japanese Government has done. Facts talk while your boy’s activism will walk….right back to a jet headed out of Japan.

      • Bruce H. Crocker

        No, you do not need to substantiate anything! But the fact that you publish an opinion suggests that you must have “reason” for such opinion. I merely ask that you provide that(those) reason(s) in order that we may discuss them. You might be able to change my opinion or vice versa. I based my comment on the premise that an intelligent discussion could possibly be educational to both sides! What the Japanese government has done has NOT been substantiated as justifiable and that is the whole issue. They have, at this point, made an arbitrary decision which is favourable to a corrupt (imo) group that is comprised, of about 30-40 individuals out of a population of over 3,400 persons and various government officials who may (are, again imoi) be receiving kickbacks from the industry. Those in positions of power within that group are using that power in an attempt to silence both within and without, public censure of an activity that is both non-traditional and an affront to every decent human being!!! Unless you consider forcibly removing an animal, any animal, from its family and selling it into a life of slavery for the profit of a few and the brief titillation of ignorant or self-centred people not to be such an affront.

      • J. S. Hansenius

        Oh stop…your silly over the top emotionally logically void opinion is all over this story and not one your silly comments is an effort to have actual dialog…you’re much too busy talking about how the poor activist is being abused, never mind he intended to get arrested, while talking about Dolphins being enslaved, as if they are humans. What get’s me about you bruce is how you really think you matter, your sense of agency has addled your brain.

        See, I’m not in favor of slaughtering dolphins, especially when there is no real market for them to being with, but more than being against that I’m against people like you in the outrage machine.

        The idea that as society we just roll over to the loudmouths and the activist has to change least we lose the structure that makes much of their/your concerns even possible to address.

        Get over yourself and tell your chum Obarry the same when you meat him at the bleeding-hearts club awareness meeting for limp-wristed beings.

  • alain

    Very unfortunate situation and a shame on Japanese immigration and officials…

  • HyperMoot .

    “Many Japanese say the hunt (…) is a
    tradition in an area where whales and dolphins have been hunted for
    years” Many? Really? so, thousands? millions? figures and sources, please.

    • Erma

      It has been “tradition” to consume the flesh of other humans as well. Progress means moving forward – dolphin and whale meat are filled with toxins and dangerous to eat, especially for children. Without the trade in live dolphin for purposes of entertainment, this practice would die out.

  • J. S. Hansenius

    Shame on Ric O’Barry! He tried to play Japan like the activist he is and has paid for it by having his lies called out. He he is not here to view the sites as a tourist, he is here to protest, which is his job thus he is on business. That being said the dolphin huts are hard to defend. But what Mr. O’Barry is doing is just typical activist stuff…getting arrested to draw attention to the cause and then acting like a victim when the state moves in just the exact manner that he hoped it would. The man is being dishonest and that will come to hurt the cause more than his being there will help it. But the truth is usually the last thing that activist are concerned with, in fact they will toss the truth out the window as soon as doing so will help the cause.

    • Erma

      Shame on Japan for this barbaric practice and their indifference to the health of our oceans. It seems that if you can make a quick buck, it’s open season on everything until it’s gone. Hard to talk about truth when the truth about mercury poisoning is politely tucked under the proverbial rug in favor of profit.

      • Pink Floyd

        and let’s not forget the massive cover up at Fukushima, poisoning the ocean with radioactive water and all hushed up, something Japan is good at.

      • J. S. Hansenius

        Yeah, the big coverup…that’s why you don’t know about it, sort of hard to cover up a very big earthquake, its effect, including a tsunami and reactor have been known about from day one.

      • Pink Floyd

        an Idiotic response, get out of your ivory tower…

      • Pink Floyd

        I see my comments have been deleted, well lets try on more time. Im pretty sure you are either being facetious or are plain ignorant, it is common knowledge that the japanese government covered up the extent of the fallout over tokyo and fukushima in the months following the explosions. Grow a brain.

    • Bruce H. Crocker

      In the Comments section following the Japan Times News publication regarding Mr. O’B

      ” Shame on Ric O’Barry??? It appears by your reasoning that I, nor anyone identifiably opposed to the activities in Taiji, would be able to travel travel there to monitor and report on the barbaric treatment of dolphins in Taiji? All of the Cove Guardians are there for the same reason that Mr. O’Barry is……to monitor and report truthfully on what takes place there.. so they should not be allowed as well!!!? In fact, by your reasoning, it would appear that you consider the only legitimate visitor to Japan with intentions of visiting Taiji, would be those who approve of dolphin killing and slavery or at least keep their opinions to themselves!
      Mr.O.Barry has been going there for 14 years or more as a protester and many more as a simple visitor!! When has he lied about his feelings concerning what takes place in Taiji? What possible foundation do you have for saying that he went with the intention of being arrested and “acting like a victim”, having gone there for so many years without such blatant disregard for the law being displayed by the authorities!
      Playing the victim!!? He is a victim, dammit…a victim of a pseudo-democratic government which is acting in collusion with those who would and do profit from the sale of baby dolphins into a live of slavery. If it weren’t for this slave trade, the dolphin “drive hunts” would be a thing of the past!
      As for your comment about truth and activists, I must say that it has been my experience that “truth is OFTEN the last thing that many apologists are concerned with” and the content of your comment seems to be proof of that!
      We, who are anti-dolphin killing/enslavement activists don’t have to lie….we simply display the relevant photographs and video, along with documented scientific research as confirmation of of what we say. Yes, our opinions are strong and unforgiving in their condemnation of what Japan is allowing to take place in Taiji….. but not true? Back that up with references, time, date and place!! If there are any errors in what we say, they are not deliberate and if we find any such error, we move to correct that immediately, something which has been sadly lacking in apologists for the travesty that is the practice and purpose of the Taiji “dolphin drive-hunts”. I think that you, sir, suffer from a tremendous lack of research and actual knowledge of what it is that we oppose and why we are so committed in our opposition. To relieve that apparent lacking, might I suggest that you:
      * Watch how the dolphins are killed in that Cove of Hell
      * View the efforts to which those involved in the barbaric killing method go to hide their sadistic treatment of the condemned and those slated for sale as slaves!!
      * Read about the dolphin…educate yourself as to the nature, the intelligence, the sentience and all of the many traits, traits which are claimed as a basis for declaring that Homo sapiens is the superior animal, but are equally or even to a greater degree,held by dolphins.
      * View the dolphin in the wild and compare that existence with that of the captive dolphin!!
      Then respond with facts, if you can, to refute what we say, rather than resorting to baseless opinionated pap!!

      • anon

        He violated the terms of his visa, period.

        We could spin this the other way as well. If the USA denied entry to a person from a country on the visa waver program that was protesting the US not adhering to sharia law you would be cheering.

        The point isn’t the dolphin hunt, the point is he violated the terms of his visa on a previous trip and immigration called him on it.

      • Bruce H. Crocker

        Says they, parroted now by you! He denies having committed any violation and, through his lawyer sought to appeal which I believe is his right. They refused! .
        And with respect to a person protesting a USA denial based on a visa waiver program, but even if I was, why would I be cheering? As I said in another post, the beauty of a democratic country is the right for everyone, citizen or non-citizen to be able to PEACEFULLY protest whatever floats their boat!!

      • J. S. Hansenius

        Says they?…lets get something straight, you are no authority on anything, where “they” are…hence logical people listen to “them” over your self anointed agency, which seems to be motivated by emotion over logical reasoning.

      • Bruce H. Crocker

        No, you get something straight…my comment was to Anon, but you choose to join in with inanities. Where have I claimed to be an “authority”….no where…..but I sure as heck do have an opinion. You may disagree…that is your prerogative….but I would suggest pulling your head out of your anti-activist ass long enough to speak logically. Logical reasoning ? What logical reasoning have you provided. You have not provided one….not one substantive answer to any of my comments, choosing only to attempt to ridicule me and any of those who oppose the dolphin abuse by calling us limp wristed bleeding hearts who are overly emotional. If I was gay…;.if we were all a bunch of flaming out of the closets, what bearing would that have on this issue. You, Mister self proclaiming tough guy, I think, may have more issues than being a pole up your arse anti activist. Be my guest, come back with your silly remarks..but unless you provide some sensible dialogue, there is absolutely purpose being served here.

      • J. S. Hansenius

        You’re comment is on a public comment board in a public paper on the internet…now talk about hypocrite you are on here defending someone who thinks he can break the law in the name of speech, specifically the freedom to lie in order to speak out against something, and here you are telling me I can’t comment on your comments. You limp-wrist, bleeding-heart, animal-are-our-equal types are true loons, worthy of being put in a museum as an example of a ego run amok. No one is buying it this time…your crocodile tears have failed! So have O’barry’s. You lack logic and most importantly you lack truth. Because the Japanese are not so emotionally manipulable and your argument is essentially nothing but emotion you are left with playing back channel debate meister. And in the end, your cause is weaker looking now because of you. Do the dolphins a favor Mrs. Crocker, stop defending them.

      • Bruce H. Crocker

        Says they, parroted now by you! He denies having committed any violation and, through his lawyer sought to appeal which I believe is his right. They refused! .
        And with respect to a person protesting a USA denial based on a visa waiver program, but even if I was, why would I be cheering? As I said in another post, the beauty of a democratic country is the right for everyone, citizen or non-citizen to be able to PEACEFULLY protest whatever floats their boat!!

      • J. S. Hansenius

        Bruce Crocker I’m not for the slaughter of dolphins but I’m also not for one person thinking that they can manipulate our system because they FEEL very strongly about somethings. You need to get over yourself and learn to control your emotions. This world belongs to the rational. We are not going to cede it to the loudmouth activists. Deal with it!

  • Yuki

    Okay so…

    1. He was dishonest about his reasons for entering the country (he was there for work and as a protester, not a tourist),

    2. He didn’t have his passport on him, which is required and made really clear to everyone.

    I was actually quite sympathetic to his position, as I love dolphins and don’t want them killed or eaten. But breaking the law and deceiving people is not the way to do things.

    • Erma

      He has never lied. He has traveled to Japan for years now to document the drive hunt/dolphin trade in Taiji – everyone knows it. He did have his passport – the last time he was “detained” the passport was the excuse.

      • Yuki

        Okay but that’s not tourism. He’s an activist and apparently involved in making documentaries, so this would be work then. You need a different visa for that.

      • kobekid

        he didn’t make any documentaries, he appeared in one but was not involved in the making

      • RolandRackham

        Huh? He was the films star! He helped set up the location shoots! Where you’ve been?

      • kobekid

        so where’s O’Barry’s Oscar then? The film won an Oscar but O’Barry didn’t receive one. Is he listed in the credits?

      • RolandRackham

        Hmmm. Opening Scene – There’s Ric O! All through out the film – There’s Ric O! Look at both IMDB’s & Wikipedia ‘s the Cove entry (cast) Right at the top -Zgood old Ric O! Could they have made the Film w/o Ric O? Get real. As to why he didn’t get an Oscar…Maybe he just wasn’t good enough for one. Or more likely, he and the other actors couldn’t be on the official credits since the would interfer w/ the film’s “documentary” cred.

      • kobekid

        Did O’Barry inspire Psyhois to make the film? Without a doubt. But being the inspiration for a film and actually making it are two very different things.

        “All through out the film – There’s Ric O! Look at both IMDB’s & Wikipedia ‘s the Cove entry (cast) Right at the top -Zgood old Ric O!”

        Using this logic we could say Godzilla made several movies. Wonder if he had the proper visa…

      • RolandRackham

        There’s a big difference in being the inspiration for the film and being the central character and an active participate in it’s production. Try watching the film.

      • anon

        To film for the documentary he would need to have an Entertainer visa. Japanese immigration is very strict. He most likely lied on one or more of his previous visits.

      • dolphinsmarts

        He is not filming for a documentary

      • anon

        how do you know? He did it in the past which was a violation of his visa. Japan does not take visa violations lightly. If a person violates the terms of their visa, Japan deports them and bans them from re-entering for ten years. The fact he had a lawyer ready tells me that he knew he was going to be turned away at immigration.

      • dolphinsmarts

        He is being set an example over Taij i dolphin killings exposed. I know He didn’t produce a documentary. Educate yourselves. Who ever did the documentary is a h ero because the truth to the ugly underbelly of dolphin killings were exposed. These self aware animals are abused and stolen from their migratory waters by the 25 bullies with no #compassion feeelings or humanity. Japan a beautiful country with this ugly group of fishermen thugs . Ric has done nothing wrong shame on the country for detaining him like a criminal. Secrets Japan wants hidden.

      • anon

        Maybe you should focus your energy on a topic more important to your life. For example civil forfeiture in the USA, the Canadian government sponsoring the destruction of the environment, increased coal mining in Australia, or the immigrant crisis in the EU.

        The killing of dolphins in Japan is pretty brutal but you have to remember that they are not endangered. Canada allows it’s citizens to beat baby seals to death with a bat (it’s the official way to do it), I don’t see anyone mad at the Canadian government.

        Japan has many problems but so does every country. Animal rights, civil law, habeas corpus, and corporate responsibility are all things that need to be improved here. However, drug abuse is basically non existent, literacy is the highest in the world, unemployment is very low, poverty is low. Japan has succeeded in solving problems that most of the world struggles with.

        And one more time, this guy is free to leave when ever he choses. He is only in detention because he is acting like a spoiled brat.

      • anon

        Maybe you should focus your energy on a topic more important to your life. For example civil forfeiture in the USA, the Canadian government sponsoring the destruction of the environment, increased coal mining in Australia, or the immigrant crisis in the EU.

        The killing of dolphins in Japan is pretty brutal but you have to remember that they are not endangered. Canada allows it’s citizens to beat baby seals to death with a bat (it’s the official way to do it), I don’t see anyone mad at the Canadian government.

        Japan has many problems but so does every country. Animal rights, civil law, habeas corpus, and corporate responsibility are all things that need to be improved here. However, drug abuse is basically non existent, literacy is the highest in the world, unemployment is very low, poverty is low. Japan has succeeded in solving problems that most of the world struggles with.

        And one more time, this guy is free to leave when ever he choses. He is only in detention because he is acting like a spoiled brat.

      • anon

        To film for the documentary he would need to have an Entertainer visa. Japanese immigration is very strict. He most likely lied on one or more of his previous visits.

  • tisho

    If this was happening in China, it would’ve been all over the international media.

  • Erma

    It is baffling to me that educated, worldly leaders would side with a small group of ignorant fishermen and greedy dolphin brokers who think a) dolphin eat “our” fish so they’re vermin that should be destroyed; b) drive hunts are sustainable; and c) selling mercury laden dolphin and whale meat to an unsuspecting public is just fine as long as we profit from it. The moral issues of drive hunting, torturing entire pods including tiny babies, and taking wild captives for entertainment aside, Japan’s insistence that they are above the rule of law when it comes to their fishing practices and can lie about their reasons for doing so with impunity are just bizarre.

    • Pink Floyd

      simple really, it’s called parochialism and nationalism which plagues Japanese society.

  • JimmyJM

    There are good traditions and there are bad traditions. Female genital mutilation is a tradition in many parts of the world. Does that mean it should be accepted? Killing dolphins as a tradition is barbaric and should never be condoned.

    As for O’Barry, he’s an activist in the truest sense. As pointed out by several commenters, nothing, to him, is as important as “the cause”. Getting his name in print or on TV is essential to “the cause”. Playing the victim works well. His efforts actually demean “the cause”. He violated the law. Put him on a plane and get it over with so we can get back to the real issue.

    By the way JT, Ms Kennedy’s diplomatic response to a question on this subject is of no value and needn’t have been printed. There is nothing she or the U.S. can do about the tragedy in Taiji.

  • Kessek

    Dolphins are delicious.

    • Bret

      Especially with ground white ginger and shoyu.

      • Bruce H. Crocker

        See comment to Kessk!!

    • Bruce H. Crocker

      Do you know what the difference is between an Anus and and an A$$hole?

      • J. S. Hansenius

        Yes, you’re an A$$hole and O’Barry’s mouth is an Anus.

      • J. S. Hansenius

        Yes, you’re an A$$hole and O’Barry’s mouth is an Anus.

  • Charlie Sommers

    He could come back to the USA and protest the poultry raising and slaughtering business right in his own backyard. Cruel conditions in factory farming, and inhumane slaughter are daily occurrences here in the land of the free, no need to go to another country to protest it there.

    • Bruce H. Crocker

      And I could come back to Canada and protest the Canadian Seal Hunt right in my backyard. Protesting what is being done to the dolphins is my choice! Are you suggesting that I am wrong to do so…..which is exactly what you seem to be stating as to Mr. O’Barry’s choice of protest!! If you know anything about Mr. O’Barry,you would understand perfectly why he chooses to protest the treatment afforded to the dolphin, as well as understanding that he has spent a great deal of time in the USA as well as many other countries following his passion to win freedom for the dolphin. It only takes a second….Google his name and you wouldn’t appear quite so lacking in knowledge of your subject.

      • Charlie Sommers

        I really don’t think I lack knowledge on the subject. I lived in Japan for eight years and I am very familiar with the fact that about 20,000 dolphins are slaughtered there each year. I do not approve of it but you must admit that is a small number compared to the approximately 9 billion chickens that are raised under very inhumane conditions and cruelly slaughtered each year in the USA, or the half a million baby seals clubbed to death annually in Canada for their fur. Both Americans and Canadians should clean their own yards before they presume to dictate the actions of others halfway around the world. Those who live in glass houses should throw no stones.

  • dolphinsmarts

    Japan wants him out because he exposes the cruelty to dolphin drives. Ric is a hero activist and he loves Japan and its people. Taiji is the problem they are a corrupt group of 25 men who rape the sea of dolphins for the cruel dolphin industry making millions of dollars and the government is supporting it.

    • anon

      Japan denied him entry because he didn’t have the proper visa. Filming for a documentary would require an Entertainer visa. Given his past history of not obtaining the correct visa the Japanese Immigration agents denied him entry.

    • anon

      Japan denied him entry because he didn’t have the proper visa. Filming for a documentary would require an Entertainer visa. Given his past history of not obtaining the correct visa the Japanese Immigration agents denied him entry.

      • dolphinsmarts

        He is not filming a documentary!!

      • anon

        He did it in the past which was a violation of his (at that time) visa.

      • Bruce H. Crocker

        He DID NOT FILM ANYTHING….he simply assisted in the film maker’s exposure of Taiji’s shameful activity. If it was against the terms of his VISA to “blow the whistle on shameful activity” while in Japan, show me the wording that says so! No matter what free and democratic country that one visits, if any person, citizen, tourist or ex-pat resident witnesses something which they feel to be abhorrent and shameful activity, they would not be denied the right to assist another in an exposure of such activity. Japan is merely trying to do what they can do in their pseudo-democracy with the Japanese citizen….it’s too bad that some non-citizens of Japan are allowing themselves to be fooled!!

      • anon

        There are plenty of foreigners in Japan that join protests, the difference is they have a visa and this guy did not. The LGBT march was almost half gaijin.

        He appeared in a movie filmed in Japan. Under Japanese law he should have had an entertainer visa not a tourist visa. Weather or not he was paid would be very hard to prove to the Japanese government.

        I am not a parrot. I am just stating the facts not the perceived reality. Those of us that lawfully live in Japan with valid visas or residency worked hard to get where we are. This guy is abusing the system in the same way illegal migrants do. Unfortunately, many of those migrants chose to engage in shady businesses like the sex trade which is why immigration is so strict. Kabukicho is over run with African and southeast Asians that work either in the sex trade or scam bars. Many of the girls in the sex trade are in Japan on tourist visas and are rotated out when the visa is up. It’s real good money for them. Bang a few guys a week for a few months then go home and take the rest of the year off.

        The real problem here is people from old British Empire countries thinking the rest of the world should play by their rules.

      • dolphinsmarts

        He never did you you don’t know what has your talking about.

    • anon

      Japan denied him entry because he didn’t have the proper visa. Filming for a documentary would require an Entertainer visa. Given his past history of not obtaining the correct visa the Japanese Immigration agents denied him entry.

    • anon

      Japan denied him entry because he didn’t have the proper visa. Filming for a documentary would require an Entertainer visa. Given his past history of not obtaining the correct visa the Japanese Immigration agents denied him entry.

    • anon

      Japan denied him entry because he didn’t have the proper visa. Filming for a documentary would require an Entertainer visa. Given his past history of not obtaining the correct visa the Japanese Immigration agents denied him entry.

    • anon

      Japan denied him entry because he didn’t have the proper visa. Filming for a documentary would require an Entertainer visa. Given his past history of not obtaining the correct visa the Japanese Immigration agents denied him entry.

    • J. S. Hansenius

      Japan wants him out because he came to Japan and broke the law. He is a criminal. Send him home where his friends can worship his sacrifice. He’s just like ever other egoist, filled with self importance and thinks he is beyond the law. We’ll I got news for him, he isn’t.

  • thedudeabidez

    ““Throwing a person like this out of the country gives the world the impression that Japan is not a free country,” he said.”

    They’ve been working overtime on that since Abe came to power…

  • MacTire

    “Political prisoner”? What nonsense! He’s nothing more than a prisoner of his own delusions. If Japan is cracking down on professional Japan-bashers who come to this country for the sole purpose of causing trouble, good! I too think dolphins are adorable, and I am sure that they are quite intelligent animals. But they’re still animals. I hope that eventually some way is discovered to protect both them and the fishermen, but that is a matter for Japanese to decide, not arrogant, racist foreigners…I deplore abortion, which takes far more human lives than all the dolphin lives taken over decades. But if pro-life activists came to Japan to interfere in “the procedure,” how much sympathy (or even coverage) would they get from the Japan Times. Zero!

  • Jane Kenmure

    Dolphins have been classified as ‘non human persons’ in some parts of the world.. They are highly intelligent, self aware mammals who have historically protected humans and befriended humans.. How do we humans repay that … We capture and enslave them and slaughter them in front of their loved ones in the most inhumane and cruel way possible.. Shame on all humans who participate or endorse this evil ignorance. :'(

  • anon

    Wow, you just verified the reason he was denied entry was because he didn’t have a proper visa on a previous visit. Thank you. He lied on a previous visit and got called out this time. That’s all.

    If you want to see a government abusing the visa waver program, look at the USA. The ESTA system is a direct violation of every visa waver treaty the US has ever signed.

    So, you “respect all life”? I’m guessing that you are vegan and don’t visit zoos. If you eat meat, you are a hypocrite. The cattle and chicken industries are far more cruel than the once a year event in Japan.

    • Bruce H. Crocker

      How in heavens name do you arrive at me having “verified the reason for his being denied entry” when I just said that this class of visa was NEVER intended to deal with a whistle blower appearing in such a film as “The Cove”..it was designed with the migrant sex worker and other similar persons in mind, so don’t think that one works!
      Especially since at no time has it been suggested by anyone connected with the refusal to allow him entry, that a lack of such a visa has anything to do with their refusal.” Are you being deliberately obtuse or are you simply one who says “don’t confuse me with facts, my mind is made up!!”? No, i am not a vegan…I live in a rural village of Thailand and thus eat a variety of foods, none of which are obtained from “commercial” enterprises. And no, just because I eat certain meats, doesn’t make me a hypocrite. If there were still recognized “cannibals” would I be a hypocrite for condemning cannibalism! If you can’t provide a decent argument for the denial of a visa entry for someone who only protests peacefully, than why bother…you only admit to being a foolish pawn of Japan’s government!!

      • J. S. Hansenius

        I’t now about me O’barry says, but its exactly about him and Bruce Crocker is no different. The activist know they are right even if they have to lie and break the law to prove it to you. O’Barry failed in Japan because Japan doesn’t knuckle under to loud mouth malcontents who think that they can manipulate the society…sorry chumps, you can’t and you failed and Crocker you failed on here to make the case that OBarry was correct. Two failures of activist and Japan is better because of it!

  • Lola Palooza

    Japan should leave this wise man free and so should they do with the Dolphins ….. Japan has such a beautiful culture, but the dolphin and whale killings do not fit into it !!! We are not living in the Middle Ages anymore and people should learn from their mistakes instead of holding on to some stupid “tradition” !!! The only reason that the put Ric O’Barry in jail is because Japanese can’t stand it when others try to lecture them ! Killing Dolphins and Whales is not only wrong but it destroys our eco-system in te long run …. What do those Japs need to get that ?! Grow up, will you ?!

  • Lola Palooza

    Japan should leave this wise man free and so should they do with the Dolphins ….. Japan has such a beautiful culture, but the dolphin and whale killings do not fit into it !!! We are not living in the Middle Ages anymore and people should learn from their mistakes instead of holding on to some stupid “tradition” !!! The only reason that the put Ric O’Barry in jail is because Japanese can’t stand it when others try to lecture them ! Killing Dolphins and Whales is not only wrong but it destroys our eco-system in te long run …. What do those Japs need to get that ?! Grow up, will you ?!