Taiji to beef up police for hunt


The Wakayama Prefectural Police will set up a task force by late August to prevent antiwhaling groups from clashing with locals in the town of Taiji during the upcoming whaling season.

Around 10 officers will man a temporary “koban” police post 24 hours a day, the public security division of the local police said.

The police, who hope the move helps ease concerns among townspeople, will also conduct a joint drill with other authorities, including a local coast guard base, on July 27, they said.

“While in society, people make various claims, we must clamp down on clearly criminal activities,” said Wakayama Gov. Yoshinobu Nisaka, suggesting the need to enforce local security more stringently.

Taiji came into the spotlight through the Oscar-winning 2009 U.S. documentary “The Cove,” which depicted the slaughter of dolphins by local fishermen during a traditional hunt off the coast, spurring international controversy.