Dolphin activist and former Flipper trainer Ric O'Barry joined hands with his former rival, ex-dolphin hunter Izumi Ishii, as both disputed the government's stance that drive hunting is a national cultural practice spanning hundreds of years.

Ishii stressed that his mentors in Futo, Shizuoka Prefecture, taught the Taiji fishermen how to conduct dolphin drives in 1969. He said he believes this was the first time such drive fisheries were conducted in Japan.

Ishii said his early efforts to capture dolphins, using methods to amplify sounds underwater to cause panic aimed at controlling the dolphins, are currently administered in a similar manner in dolphin hunts carried out in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture.