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Japanese fishermen say they are portrayed as 'sadists' in Oscar-winner 'The Cove'

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© 2016 AFP

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There is no voice from Japan because 99.9 percent of Japanese had/have no idea this takes place. The few that have learned in my experience do not like it as well. It really for the most part is all on this one little town shading the majority of Japan in a negative light.

23 ( +30 / -8 )

The fishermen were then dismayed by the way they had been portrayed as “sadistic”.

So you feel bad that you look sadistic and want someone else to stop talking truth about your sadism because the truth makes you feel bad?

Did it ever occur to you that if you don't want to look bad, maybe you should put up some evidence that actually shows your case?

26 ( +30 / -5 )

Because We The Japanese.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

“We have lived side by side with these animals for hundreds of years,” said Kai.

That may be so but human beings can still live side by side with other life-forms, even their own family members, and still be utterly abusive and uncaring. Anyone involved in large scale killing must have lost some empathy/sympathy, either through training or just becoming inured. In doing so they have lost some humanity. Unless you consider humanity to be defined by causing pain and death.

22 ( +26 / -4 )

Its been my experience that when it does come to the attention of japanese people they couldnt care less.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Well they ain't exactly being compassionate.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

The truth can be a bitter pill to swallow.

19 ( +23 / -4 )

“I’ve lived in the States for almost 30 years and what struck me the most is that there is no counter argument about this,” said Sasaki. “There is no voice heard from Japan. It is such a touchy, very sensitive subject but I thought why aren’t the Japanese saying something?”

Here, Sasaki seems to assume that if Japanese people would actually say something, they would all speak up with a uniform voice in favor of the dolphin cull.

I find that notion that Japanese people all think and act as one somewhat troubling. As with any contentious issue under discussion in a healthy democracy, one would hope that there would be Japanese people with a variety of opinions on the matter.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

I feel like this film was specifically designed to counter "The Cove", but I doubt it will get even half the attention the first movie got. There's not enough controversy in "we're telling both sides of the story" to get viewers interested. But I do agree with one thing that was mentioned. We only care about the dolphins so much because we could see the cruel way they were killed. But everyday we, myself included, eat meat not even thinking "how was this animal raised, how was this animal killed". And when we do see the footage, it's often crueler than how these dolphins were killed.

But the point is, overall times are changing. And people aren't going to accept being cruel to animals just because of tradition.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

It's not humane which is a polar opposite of sadistic. Please enlighten the world why it is (a) humane or (b) not sadistic. No Japanese voice has been heard cause the key message is indefensible besides the "we have always done this" mantra right wing conservatives employ the world over. That defense has never ever triumphed over human decency given the test of full open disclosure and open debate which Taiji is afraid to do.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Reality of fake

True that! Few of us would like our chicken sandwiches, hamburgers, or even fish if we saw what and how they were brought to be in our plates.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

In the film we are portrayed like a town of criminals,” said Yoshiharu Kai, head of the Taiji Fishermen’s Union.

You are.

But the world has changed. We know seeing the slaughter of any animal is not a good thing. We understand these sensitivities now.”

Then stop doing it.

We only care about the dolphins so much because we could see the cruel way they were killed. But everyday we, myself included, eat meat not even thinking "how was this animal raised, how was this animal killed". And when we do see the footage, it's often crueler than how these dolphins were killed. But the point is, overall times are changing. And people aren't going to accept being cruel to animals just because of tradition.

I'll second that. While I do love to eat meat and chicken, I would like to see an international consensus as to how those animals are raised and slaughtered. They should rasied as comfortably as possible and killed for consumption as painlessly as possible. Any country which doesn't comply with those standards should not be allowed to export its produce. If that raises the price of meat so be it. But if we are going to consume animals, we should at least not make them suffer in the process.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

I can see myself giving up eating land based meat, but I really do love seafood (non-marine mammal, of course)

2 ( +6 / -4 )

In our town children grow up dreaming of becoming a whaler.

Really?

While I loved CJ Nicol's historical novel Harpoon on the town and whaling, do kids - obviously aware of the hullabaloo - not dream of escaping to the big cities like their peers across Japan and the wider world?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Err, yes. Because they are.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

“We have lived side by side with these animals for hundreds of years,” said a spokesman from the next town over from Taiji.

We know seeing the slaughter of any animal is not a good thing. We understand these sensitivities now.

No, you don't understand. It isn't the seeing that's the problem, it's the slaughter. There is no way to kill a marine mammal humanely. So stop the slaughter.

everyday we, myself included, eat meat not even thinking "how was this animal raised, how was this animal killed". And when we do see the footage...

...why doesn't it stop more people happily eating meat? This is something I don't understand.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Again dolphins have much large brains than us. They are sentient. They have very complex social interactions. Dolphins have saved humans in life threatening situations. I know of no-one who needs to eat a dolphin.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

“We have lived side by side with these animals for hundreds of years,” said a spokesman from the next town over from Taiji.

Which makes it even more sickening. Would these people also kill their dogs who have been living with them side by side for hundreds of years.

And so what if this has been done for a long time? Binding a girl's foot at an early age used to be part of Chinese culture. Hell will freeze over before any Chinese woman goes back to that tradition. Tradition and cultures change (and progress). If the dolphin killers aren't ashamed, then why are the practices screened regularly on Japanese TV?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Really you can go out and kill cute creatures and expect good PR. Once the seal puppy fur trade was open up on our TV. the fur trade went pears shape and has not recovered. Maybe a few ex PR man from Trumps campaign could help out.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Driving any animal into nets where they are trapped so you can slowly slaughter them all by hand with spears is sadistic in any culture on Earth, and would actually be considered as a major warning sign of psychopathy I think in some countries

8 ( +9 / -1 )

"We have lived side by side with these animals for hundreds of years,"

Yeah, by netting them next to the shore. Them living together with you only last quickly since you start slashing and stabbing them.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

The worst part is that they feed the meat to school children, who then end up poisoned by mercury and heavy metals. This alone should be enough to stop the practice. Very third world thinking to just say we have done it for 400 years, therefore it is acceptable.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The worst part is that they feed the meat to school children, who then end up poisoned by mercury and heavy metals

I've heard that whale meat is high in mercury, but I've never heard of any children ending up with mercury poisoning from eating it. I would imagine that would lead to outrage by the Japanese people. Do you have any examples of this happening?

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Concerns were also raised over the methods used by the filmmakers to capture footage

It's so unfair! If the Taiji butchers had known what the foreigners were up to they could have called the police and had them arrested on trumped-up charges. They won't make the same mistake again and if you try to film them now you will be arrested for no legal reason.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Concerns were also raised over the methods used by the filmmakers to capture footage

Pointing the camera at the scene and capturing footage of what was actually happening. How vile.

More valid concerns are raised over the methods used by the we've-been-doing-this-for-hundreds-of-years neolithic butchers, starting with terrifying the animals into the cove then butchering them one by one in front of their families. The butchers of Taiji have not come forward to give their side of the story because they know their side of the story cannot be justified in any way.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Other town hunt them out to sea,” said Sangen. “It seems that if people can’t see when animals are killed then there is no controversy. In our town children grow up dreaming of becoming a whaler.

This guy seems to completely miss the point.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Well it certainly looks sadistic when you see the movie. Westerners don't have much room to talk, though. The meat/fast food industry commits animal cruelty on an industrial scale.

It has to be said that purely from a PR perspective, this looks bad for Japan. Kids love dolphins and whales, and when they think of Japan, they associate it with killing cute cetaceans.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Ken be more inclined to call them, barbaric environmental rapists.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

a time to kill.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Strangerland

I would imagine that would lead to outrage by the Japanese people. Do you have any examples of this happening?

in "the cove" they interviewed Japanese scientists who said on film that due to the elevated levels of heavy metals in the meat they would never feed their own children such meat. The scientist were pilloried by the Taiji locals and then complained that what they said wasn't meant to be broadcast, still doesn't change the facts but it does reveal the bully nature of Taiji citizens.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

in "the cove" they interviewed Japanese scientists who said on film that due to the elevated levels of heavy metals in the meat they would never feed their own children such meat.

That's not an example of it happening, it's an example of what someone felt about it, and their reaction to their concerns. The original claim was that it is happening though, I asked for examples of it happening.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Perso I think 'real' environmentalists would/should have handled the situation better. It seems 'The cove' main goal was to expose, name and shame Japan and they sure did. Thing is ostracizing ppl for what they think or do and expecting them to change rarely works.

If you tell Spaniards 'stop slaughtering bulls you ignorant %@#$', french 'stop torturing ducks you % $#÷', Japanese etc chances are they arent going to listen to you.

Imo the 'stop' side could have achieved more if they had tried to listen and perhaps understand the why behind the killings rather than ridicule and mock the fishermen from the get go. Confrontation doesn't always (rarely) changes minds.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@goldarak

From the article:

At the time “The Cove” was being shot, [the fishermen] had refused to speak to the filmmakers

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Actually what they are doing has only been going on since the early 1970`s. Up until then a random few fishermen caught dolphins and ate them. It was rare. Then when aquariums grew in popularity they begun slaughtering large numbers of dolphins in order to avoid having to sift through the ones they capture the next day for young females. This is purely a sadistic commercial operation there is nothing cultural nor historic about this.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

“Other town hunt them out to sea,” said Sangen. “It seems that if people can’t see when animals are killed then there is no controversy. In our town children grow up dreaming of becoming a whaler..."

Sorry, but no matter where you kill a dolphin, or many dolphins (or any whale for that matter) in my eyes it's wrong. In the days before we understood them no-one thought twice of killing whales and dolphins, but we aren't as ignorant now, the science is out there about their intelligence and social structures.

There was a news report the other day about a whale calf helping to get it's stranded mother off a sandbar... that shows these animals have feelings, they care about one another, they worry, they fear... so imagine animals like that being herded into a cove, group fear taking over, panic, and then some two legged land mammals start killing your family and friends, turning the sea red... and for what? Why?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

“We have lived side by side with these animals for hundreds of years,” said Kai.

And Japan has been next to China and Korea for even longer, with its ancestors coming from there, and yet they had no qualms about live vivisection sand trafficking among other atrocities. Living next to something doesn't mean your not a sadist, but being a sadist, as these men are, does.

"There is no voice heard from Japan."

Because there is no way of justifying what they do in this day and age and with all the nonsense and paradoxical arguments.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Read Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" to see how bad we treat animals. I guess dolphins are closer to us in some ways which causes more empathy, but I have to say pigs, chickens and cows are not treated well in industrial food processing.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japanese fishermen say they are portrayed as 'sadists'

Yep! That pretty well sums it up.

If the shoe fits . . .

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Strangerland, how do you prove mercury poisoning? Pretty easy, when the kids are eating contaminated meat, they are being poisoned. Proof enough?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Strangerland, how do you prove mercury poisoning? Pretty easy, when the kids are eating contaminated meat, they are being poisoned. Proof enough?

No, it's not.

You prove it by showing someone who has been poisoned by mercury. Pretty much all of us eat foods that have mercury in them, yet I've never personally known anyone who got mercury poisoning. Eating foods with mercury is not the same as getting mercury poisoning.

So again, the claim was that it's happening, so I'm asking for examples of it having happened.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

They are sadists, which is why they're portrayed as sadists. Does anyone who's seen The Cove disagree - other than the crazy woman who made the response film - what was her name, Inada...?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The truth? You can't handle the truth

0 ( +2 / -2 )

We are really in the year 2016? We are evolving? Japanese are even evolving according to the global understanding of what is decent behavior? I can not believe They make a movie to justify crime, decaying morals and no ethics, in year 2016, people want to justify the big killing of dolphins???? Dolphin shows should not be related to Japanese culture and tradition, Ultimately what sustains this city are the trade in live dolphins. This will never be culture or tradition, this is human greed.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

“Other town hunt them out to sea,” said Sangen. “It seems that if people can’t see when animals are killed then there is no controversy.

Not sure how she came to this conclusion; Sea Shepherd should be proof enough that "people" are opposed to killing whales/dolphins regardless of where... it just so happens the huge bloody mess that is Taiji pulls heartstrings a little easier because it is so graphic.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

So, the truth hurts does it? These fishermen and infant the whole town could benefit from Eco tourism rather than the wholesale slaughter of sentient beings.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So again, the claim was that it's happening, so I'm asking for examples of it having happened. revised standards for meat consumption by the national government 2015 (after the release of the movie) ask yourself if there was no poisoning going on why lower the permissible levels? Hard to prove conclusively that this arrested fetus development was solely caused by contaminated meat but if that wasn't the case why revise the standard down? 水銀は胎盤を通過し、社会生活に支障があるような重篤なものではないものの胎児の神経系の発達に影響を及ぼす可能性があることから国では2015年11月に「妊婦への魚介類の摂取と水銀に関する注意事項について」を改正し、妊婦の耐容週間摂取量が体重1kgに対して2.0マイクログラムとされました。これは、バンドウイルカだと、1回80gとして妊婦は2ヶ月に1回食べられる量になります。  和歌山県は太地町など鯨類多食地域を含む県でありますので、各市町村役場で実施する母親学級(妊婦対象の保健指導)などでは、水銀濃度が高い魚介類のみを偏って多量に食べることを避けることや、併せてバランスのとれた魚介類の食べ方についての指導を行っています。

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If they are allowed by law to kill a maximum of 20,000 and they are within the law, why is it being frowned on? They are not doing anything illegal. Do not judge another country's practices, especially when it is a part of their way of life. They are not hurting other people. Live and let life. Stop judging.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Bamboo I guess humanity and legality aren't the same thing. Is protesting the death penalty or child pornography also wrong in countries where they are illegal? You have a very low moral bar perhaps?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They are not hurting other people.

not true when they are feeding contaminated meat to their town's children in compulsory school lunches. But your point about projecting your values onto other cultures is a good one.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The above poster nailed it. Dolphin meet is contaminated. It is full of dioxins. This annual slaughter is worse than useless.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It would seem the good citizens of Taiji are not familiar with the concept "documentary film". The comments are like having someone take your photo and then complaining because you don't like your appearance.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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