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Wakayama court clears anti-dolphin hunt activist

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Congrats to Erwin!

4 ( +10 / -6 )

WOW, I just watched this on iTunes the other night. If you haven't seen that movie and you are living in Japan it's a MUST see. Congrats to these guys. Ever since I watched that movie, I've noticed all the dolphin posters in the area. All of the dolphins are smiling and it's very misleading.

This is good news. Correction, GREAT news.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

No surprise there. Erwin was made an example of by being cooped up for an extended period. To have actually convicted him would have been ridiculous, as the inconsistent testimony mentioned above illustrates. The whole exercise was a case study in how far the Japanese law can and will be used against you if someone wants to make a point.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Quote from Erwin - the "judge showed great courage in going against public opinion and ruling fairly. My arrest and 2 month detention generated world-wide publicity for the dolphins in Taiji and I would like to thank the Wakayama prefecture police and prosecutors for generously donating Japanese tax payers money to bring attention to the dolphin slaughter.”

Another own-goal for the dolphin killers?

18 ( +21 / -3 )

"The towns fishermen defend the hunt as a cultural tradition". Burning "witches" at the stake and letting children work in coal mines used to be cultural traditions.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

"The towns fishermen defend the hunt as a cultural tradition". Burning "witches" at the stake and letting children work in coal mines used to be cultural traditions.

yes because dolphin suffering=human suffering.

If you haven't seen that movie and you are living in Japan it's a MUST see.

Yes, you will not believe how much mercury is ingested by marine life that ends up on our plates..well that's if you are accustomed to Japanese life and tend eat more things from the sea over some land based mammal. Our children deserve better, we need to reduce emissions and clean up the sea of pollutants so that they can safely consume the dolphins.

I BELIEVE IN MERCURY FREE DOLPHIN CONSUMPTION

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

The Japanese guy should be convicted for fault associations, he wasted the time and money of the court making up some lies just to prove some unknown point!

8 ( +11 / -3 )

the Japanese man’s account of having been pushed with the defendant’s left hand conflicted with the fact that Vermeulen held a radio in his right hand and a camera in his left,

The fact? How is this fact known? Can a camera not be put down for a second? Can it not dangle from a strap while you push someone? Can you not hold a camera and push someone basically with the camera?

This just illustrates how courts and judges are often just crazy. What I see is that two people have two different stories and I don't see any third party stories. Conclusion: case inconclusive.

And if it all hinged on a consistent story on the part of the dolphin butcher, then what? Then you have the potential that a consistent liar is rewarded. Nuts I say. The only reason Erwin should walk is that there is no proof of anything. So I guess I am glad he walked, but the stated reasons are not sound.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

What really annoys everyone else who has a warm beating heart is the cruel (barbaric) and extremely painful methods of slaughter that the whale and dolphin hunters use. i.e. unnecessary pain, terror and suffering.

tokyokawasaki, I have a warm beating heart, and it doesn't annoy me. Gosh! How is that possible? lol

Get down off your high-horse.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

fluffyclouds - You are being a bit naive. The foreign protesters going to Taiji know exactly how dangerous the locals are and how achingly the local authorities would love to catch them doing something violent. No doubt the accuser felt bowled over from a swift wind and did a soccer-style dive to the ground. Agree with them or not, you have to give this guy credit for putting his money where his mouth is and doing the 2 months in prison, highlighting not only the dolphin slaughter, but the pathetic human rights record of Japan.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

fluffyclouds: "The fact? How is this fact known? Can a camera not be put down for a second? Can it not dangle from a strap while you push someone? Can you not hold a camera and push someone basically with the camera?"

It states quite clearly that the 'victim's' testimony was inconsistant. That would mean, to any rational mind, that he said one thing one time and another thing a different time; or else two contradicting things while on the stand at one time.

"This just illustrates how courts and judges are often just crazy. What I see is that two people have two different stories and I don't see any third party stories. Conclusion: case inconclusive."

So...what? He should have been found guilty without proper evidence? That would have been 'sane'? What's 'crazy' is that despite the inconsistent testimony from the victim they are thinking of appealing to a higher court. Is he going to patch up his story then? come up with more proof?

"The only reason Erwin should walk is that there is no proof of anything. So I guess I am glad he walked, but the stated reasons are not sound."

The former, yes. The latter, no. Just keep in mind that what we have here in the article is not even close to the full story or what either man said on the stand. If the just says the victim's testimony was inconsistent, I believe he based it on the full testimony of both men, and weight his verdict carefully (especially given the witch-hunt that is public opinion here).

There's really only one thing you can kind of count that might have been bias in favour of the man being found not guilty -- and that's that finding him guilty without evidence would have CLEARLY brought more light on an issue that people here want the outside world to ignore (since the outside world is not praising it). But I don't get the feeling that actually weighed heavily into the verdict, if it had any weight at all.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Given that the guy has been found not guilty of the charges lets hope there is a wrongful imprisonment suit against the government and a slander suit against the accuser. Now that would be the icing on the cake.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I think the guy was guilty, but respect the courts. Finger print him, and deport him with a kick in the behind, and tell him to mind his own business in his own imperfect country.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

What is really galling here is that 1) Vermeulen was locked up for 2 months for a minor (presumed) misdemeanor, and 2) that prosecutors are considering an appeal, continue the injustice and wasting more tax payers money.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

But dolphins are cute!

They're so cute that even sharks are terrified of them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes: Japan can harvest whales and dolphins.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Agree with many here & with presto HOW THE HELL can someone be detained for 2mths for alledgedly SHOVING someone...................jesus that must happen thousands of times every morning on/near trains every bloody day!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Are the dolphins still being killed and eaten? I thought it had been stopped.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Don't agree with dolphin and "research" whale hunting? Then voice your opinion by way of boycott Japan Inc. products, tourism, services, banking, etc, etc.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

japangal:

I think the guy was guilty, but respect the courts.

You were there when the guy was supposed to have hit the other?

GW:

Agree with many here & with presto HOW THE HELL can someone be detained for 2mths for alledgedly SHOVING someone

This is Japan and the detained was a non-Japanese. Does that answer the question?!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It wasn't one guy's word against the other's either, there were witnesses whose testimony was far more credible than that of the "victim". The judge was spot on.

Are the dolphins still being killed and eaten? I thought it had been stopped.....

are you kidding? Over 600 so far this year, though that's fewer than usual thank god; there is so much meat stock piled that more butchering would be eve more absurd than it is already. Between the mercury and the lack of demand, we can but hope that the end is in sight for the hunters. And yes, watch The Cove, great bit of movie making.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What a coincidence, the Dutch minister of Ec Affairs is in Japan right now...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

luap, I don't think Japan lies awake at night caring about a country that is hard to find even when given a map.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

"cultural tradition"

tradition is outdated! Screw older generations! Power to the young! We will kick you arse!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Holland is the fourth biggest foreign invester in japan...enough reason to tiptoe... and the fact that you can't find it on the map says a lot..

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Waste of tax money, waste of time, waste of energy. Should've just deported the guy from the outset and this story would've disappeared.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@JapanGal

tell him to mind his own business in his own imperfect country.

Didn't you know? Foreigners come from perfect countries and are trying to show the Japanese how they can be perfect too. (Hopefully obvious sarcasm)

I've said it before. I've met the whalers in Taiji and they came across as regular people, just like the vast majority of people who are not whalers that live there. In fact, I would say the local people are quite friendly.

And this is part of the reason I want to retire there. Attention whores from SS can go jump.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Should've just deported the guy from the outset

On what grounds?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Another fine example of Japanese "justice" in action. Two months in jail for allegedly pushing someone, whereas liars like Kikukawa of Olympus defraud investors of millions and spend barely a single day in jail.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Once the locals assume they have the moral high ground they never let go, esp. when dealing with foreigners.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

On what grounds?

Disturbing the peace.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This guy is in the 1 per cent!

Top marks to the judge!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

On what grounds?

Disturbing the peace.

But he didn't disturb the peace. He was set up by an alleged 'victim' with an inconsistent story.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

But he didn't disturb the peace. He was set up by an alleged 'victim' with an inconsistent story.

He was there to disrupt a cultural activity. I would say that constitutes disturbing the peace.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

He was there to disrupt a cultural activity. I would say that constitutes disturbing the peace.

The Cove Guardians know the police are watching their every move; the slightest perceived infraction and the heavies move in. All they can do is monitor and report. They are not 'disturbing the peace'.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

luap, I don't think Japan lies awake at night caring about a country that is hard to find even when given a map

Where the hell did you go to school? The Netherlands are kind of big, you know. It's not like Luxenbourg for goodness sakes.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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