Archive for Taiji
www.msnbc.com 2nd November 2010
The annual dolphin slaughter in the quiet Japanese village of Taiji was slightly different this year. Following the release of the Oscar-winning documentary ‘The Cove’ last year, the event has attracted world-wide media attention as well as numerous conservationist groups. The attention was such that Taiji’s town council agreed to hold a conference on the subject. In Tokyo, over 400km away, the government’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku stated that he hoped the meeting would promote understanding in an ancient Japanese tradition. However, the two-hour meeting has not gone well. The Japanese fisherman claim that western societies kill other animals for food while the protestors highlight the barbarity of dolphin-killing practices as well as the high toxin levels in dolphin meat. Furthermore, Ric O’Barry, the central character of ‘The Cove’, threatened to boycott the talks due to severe media restrictions. In the end Mr O’Barry did not have to boycott as he was escorted from the area by policemen following comments about the cruelty of dolphin training (Mr O’Barry was the trainer of the original Flipper dolphins). Town Council chief Katsutoshi Mihara said to the conservationists: “It’s not right for you to force your values on us.” Every year Taiji, with a small population of 3,500, slaughter 2,000 dolphins, around 10% of the country’s total.