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In the Feb. 2 article “Kyoto plan to boost visitors with aquarium irks locals,” Kyoto Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa is quoted as saying that “Modern zoos and aquariums that contribute to biodiversity are the models for the Kyoto aquarium.” I am amazed that the mayor makes this ludicrous argument, since the planned aquarium will directly contribute to the reduction of the earth’s biodiversity.

First, the aquarium is being built on some of the last green space in Kyoto. Second, the aquarium will emit huge quantities of carbon dioxide. Third, fish for the aquarium will likely be caught using explosives, poisons or indiscriminate netting, causing harm to fish populations and reefs.

Finally, it is likely that the dolphins used in the aquarium’s dolphin shows will come from Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, site of the annual dolphin capture and slaughter. It is well known that the sales of dolphins caught at Taiji are what make the annual slaughter economically viable. Furthermore, we believe that the builder is planning to use the aquarium as a showcase for selling aquariums to other Asian cities.

If the mayor wants to build giant big-box attractions that have nothing to do with Kyoto’s cultural heritage, that’s his choice, but he should not make ludicrous claims to try to sell the project to the public. Readers interested in our efforts to stop the aquarium should visit the Committee to Protect Kyoto website: www.kyoto-mamoru.org/

chris rowthorn

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