Fishermen in wetsuits hunt dolphins at a cove in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, in this file photo from January 2014. Photo: REUTERS file
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Court asked to stop dolphin hunts in Wakayama town

45 Comments
By Yuri Kageyama

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45 Comments
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Disgusting practice.

1 ( +25 / -24 )

It is nice to read that within the local institutions they are starting to question such practice.

Japan,Norway and Island should stop such things.

0 ( +23 / -23 )

there needs to be economic pressure on Japan to end this practice. otherwise, it will never stop.

-7 ( +17 / -24 )

The plaintiffs, a former Taiji resident and activist Ren Yabuki

It's going to be hard for the hunters to blame this on 'cultural racism'.

0 ( +20 / -20 )

It's going to be hard for the hunters to blame this on 'cultural racism'.

exactly! the guy is not just Japanese- He used to live in Taiji.

-1 ( +18 / -19 )

I can’t see any changes coming of this. It’s inky one activist against a whole town of belligerent and defiant killers who will claim cultural heritage. This is despite the fact that they make huge amounts of money from the sake of live dolphins, which is not part of any cultural heritage.

0 ( +16 / -16 )

Since when was suffocation humane? Its a horrible way to die.

-2 ( +16 / -18 )

YES. Please win! This is not tradition...it is barbaric. Switch to whale watching tours and regain honest money and have your rotten souls returned to you for free. Wakayama Gov Yoshinobu Nisaka--how much are you bribed to approve this horror?

-7 ( +12 / -19 )

There's no reason to hunt, sell, or eat dolphins or whales.

-4 ( +15 / -19 )

Time to act for politicians of this country.....

or is everyone waiting for the new royal to position himself.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

Just because it's tradition, it doesn't mean it should be allowed today.

1 ( +19 / -18 )

Stabbed to death or suffocated to death?

Its a cultural tradition.....

-4 ( +13 / -17 )

 the guy is not just Japanese- He used to live in Taiji.

There is no mention of his nationality.   Some activists live in Taiji for protests.

-2 ( +17 / -19 )

That there are "animal cruelty laws” surely requires the law to act, not wait to be asked to intervene by a hearing? The facts are there, evident, before e our eyes, if THAT is not animal cruelty, barbaric and abhorrent, what is? What is the point of LAW if it is not applied to situations that demand its application!

-3 ( +12 / -15 )

It'll never happen. Doesn't matter that it's heinous. Doesn't matter that no one wants the meat, so much so that they force it down the mouths of school children. Doesn't matter that it makes Japan a laughing stock and a shame. Doesn't matter they only make money from subsidies. They don't care -- as long as someone points out that it's wrong, they get offended and get to play victim, and will continue no matter what.

-5 ( +14 / -19 )

Go Vegans!!

8 ( +16 / -8 )

The plaintiff is Japanese.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

They don't care -- as long as someone points out that it's wrong, they get offended and get to play victim, and will continue no matter what.

Slight correction here: . . . as long as non-Japanese point out that it's wrong . . .

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

The Taijiates need to take their school children to the cove and share their tradition of barbarity. Let’s put an end to this being passed down the generation.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

Taiji officials and fishermen have defended the hunt as tradition.

Tradition and cultural residues count for zilch when the subject is killing sentient beings. Many, many activities from the past were always just wrong and immoral; killing marine mammals is in that domain.

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

If this is such a cultural tradition, why do they carry it out behind blue tarps?

The point that is being ignored by Taiji fishermen and those who are stupid enough to consume dolphin meat is, the WHO deemed dolphin meat unfit for human consumption due to the large amounts of heavy metals and pesticides in the meat. Surveys were done on the people of Taiji who consume dolphin meat regularly and they had 20 to 50 times more mercury in their blood than accepted levels. Some had even started to show symptoms of Minamata disease. Perhaps these foolish people should be encouraged to eat more dolphin meat. If they were, this problem would solve itself in a very short time.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

The slaughter of these mammals is beyond being human and must stop as there is no reason for this practice.

-9 ( +9 / -18 )

Tina

There is no mention of his nationality.  Some activists live in Taiji for protests.

He's Japanese. He is also very brave and a man of great principle. Interesting talk about the waling scam after the 2011 tsunami disaster in the link below.

https://youtu.be/0jf_Scy8BhY?t=274

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

No one believes any of these people purporting the hunt of these dolphins and whales.

I can back off in terms of diet, but not in terms of bullcrap excuses.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

Lost on the thought of many, especially racist organizations like Sea Shepherd, is that it was Japanese citizens that initiated this lawsuit.

Anyhow, their country, their culture.

14 ( +21 / -7 )

their country, their culture.

Old man, you state the truth so well. Brilliant. Only Japan can decide if this tradition is ok or not. Sick of hearing yet again from culture imperialist and racist organizations like Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace. Do people not understand that Taiji and parts of Wakayama are not suitable for rice growing, so fishing for Dolphin meat as a staple food is so important.

6 ( +18 / -12 )

simon g

He's Japanese. He is also very brave and a man of great principle

What is the point of his being Japanese in this issue?  He may be one of 10 thousand naturalized people every year.

1 ( +14 / -13 )

The killing method is barbaric.

-9 ( +10 / -19 )

Sick of hearing yet again from culture imperialist and racist organizations like Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace.

...or from your own citizens.

Do people not understand that Taiji and parts of Wakayama are not suitable for rice growing, so fishing for Dolphin meat as a staple food is so important.

So do people in Tokyo only eat crows? If only they had roads and trucks down there to transport other foodstuffs to their 1st world supermarkets....

What is the point of his being Japanese in this issue?

Who said it was a man? And then why are you so determined to insinuate that 'he' isn't Japanese? The point is that many Japanese people also find the slaughter appalling . Annoying, ne?

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Tina

What is the point of his being Japanese in this issue?  He may be one of 10 thousand naturalized people every year.

You tried to suggest he wasn't Japanese which fits the whale killers narrative that it is foreigners making the fuss and not the Japanese people. Mr Yabuki was born in Nagano prefecture, stop questioning his nationality, it's rude and inappropriate. The people of Taiji are scared of the world and most Japanese from knowing what they do for to make money, no wonder they are angry they are scared of losing all that money made by their cruel traetment of fellow mammals. They can get angry all they want but anger is a sign of a poor argument. Their days are numbered.

GanbareJapan

Also dogs in Korea, China and Vietnam. No one protests them or take them to court.

Not true at all. Did you not see the protests at the last winter Olympics? Korean groups have filled law suits in Korea. Get your facts straight.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/21/killing-dogs-for-meat-illegal-south-korea-court-rules

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

dolphin meat price will rise.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

corralled & slaughtered in an a horrible manner in Japan like nowhere else.

Faroe Islands

They aren't Japan's to slaughter and sell to people to jump through hoops.

According to international law since they are rounded up and caught in Japanese waters they are Japan's.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

A court in Wakayama Prefecture began hearing arguments Friday over whether dolphin hunting violates animal cruelty laws.

A court has agreed to hear the eco-terrorist claim. That does not mean that the court has any reason to rule in favor of the eco-terrorists, even if one of the eco-terrorists happens to have lived in Taiji.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

Ah tradition. Thr act of doing the same nonsensical thing over and over again just because.

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

What is the point of his being Japanese in this issue?  He may be one of 10 thousand naturalized people every year.

Exactly. Even if he wasn’t one of the 10 thousand people naturalized annually, we can always say his ancestors weren’t Japanese.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Ren Yabuki is not an eco-terrorist.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Ganbare Japan!May 17 10:27 pm JST

their country, their culture.

Old man, you state the truth so well. Brilliant. Only Japan can decide if this tradition is ok or not.

You seem to be saying that no one outside of a country can protest against that country's traditions. Does that mean you do not think people have the right to protest cultural traditions such as child slavery, female genital mutilation, using endangered species (e.g., rhinos), as "medicine", forcing young girls to marry older men, executing GLBTQ.... the list goes on. When a cultural tradition is harmful, it would be morally wrong not to protest against it. You just don't happen to think this one is wrong - which is your opinion, fine; but you do not get to tell other people that they are not allowed to protest.

Sick of hearing yet again from culture imperialist and racist organizations like Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace.

From what you wrote above, I don't think you know what cultural imperialism actually is. Let me help you:

"Cultural imperialism, in anthropology, sociology, and ethics, the imposition by one usually politically or economically dominant community of various aspects of its own culture onto another, nondominant community. It is cultural in that the customs, traditions, religion, language, social and moral norms, and other aspects of the imposing community are distinct from, though often closely related to, the economic and political systems that shape the other community. It is a form of imperialism in that the imposing community forcefully extends the authority of its way of life over the other population by either transforming or replacing aspects of the nondominant community’s culture."

Japan is not an economically weak and undeveloped country that is being dominated by a stronger one that is imposing its own culture and suppressing Japanese culture. This argument is actually insulting to Japan, as it implies that Japan doesn't have strong leadership, has weak or apathetic citizens, a weak cultural identity, and no ability to resist. I don't see Japan that way, and I'm sure you don't either. Japan is economically strong and industrious, with a stable government. Its citizens are very proud of their culture and do NOT easily give in to outside influence. That Japan is changing means that change is coming from WITHIN, because those citizens WANT those changes.

Do people not understand that Taiji and parts of Wakayama are not suitable for rice growing, so fishing for Dolphin meat as a staple food is so important.

It has been suggested many times that Taiji use its natural resources and vast knowledge of cetaceans to create a sustainable tourism industry. This could include parks, a museum, whale and dolphin watching tours, an aquarium to study cetaceans and educate the public about them. Taiji can be economically strong again if they take this path, but so far they are resisting. Why are they resisting? The only possible reason is a stubborn insistence on a brutal and entirely unsustainable tradition.

Unsustainable, because dolphin meat is not safe to eat, and people no longer have much interest in either dolphin or whale meat. In addition, most people can see the cruelty inherent in killing cetaceans, and don't want to eat them - they're cute! Yes, this is an emotional reaction, but it's also a factor in the decline in the sale of whale and dolphin meat,

You can pout all you want, but the days of whaling and dollphin hunting for profit are over.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Herding whole dolphin families to their deaths is not ethical or humane, plus destroys an entire gene pool. Adults, juveniles, pregnant females and infants sent to their deaths after being harassed, terrorized and starved. Then after all that, dying from having a sharp metal rod basically shoved up their noses, run over by a boat or drowned. OR the alternative for some of them is to watch all of that wrath on their family and then be sold into slavery to the highest bidder. It sounds Biblical and it is barbaric. Surely Japanese coastal towns could have a more honorable tradition to be remembered for and proud to tell their grandchildren stories about.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Aquariums that are part of JAZA (https://www.jaza.jp/about-jaza/structure/list-aquarium) decided not to buy dolphins caught through these hunts (not only in Taiji). If some activist(s) could ramp up a boycott of those who are not part of the organization, that would certainly help.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The cruelty aspect aside, since when did selling dolphins to marine parks become a tradition?

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Japan is not an economically weak and undeveloped country that is being dominated by a stronger one that is imposing its own culture and suppressing Japanese culture.

Your own definition doesn't say 'weak' or 'undeveloped', it says 'usually ... nondominant'. With Japan on one side and the US and EU on the other I think most people would agree that Japan is on the nondominant side.

create a sustainable tourism industry. This could include parks, a museum, whale and dolphin watching tours, an aquarium to study cetaceans and educate the public about them. Taiji can be economically strong again if they take this path

Can you provide proof that Taiji will be 'economically strong' if it follows this path? Isn't it possible that tourism, parks, museums and whale watching won't economically replace or exceed dolphin hunts?

The only possible reason is a stubborn insistence

Hardly. There is the possible reason that they don't believe it is economically viable and don't want to risk giving up a proven economic plan for one that may not work.

The cruelty aspect aside, since when did selling dolphins to marine parks become a tradition?

Traditions evolve over time.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

There is no mention of his nationality.  Some activists live in Taiji for protests.

As simon told you, he was born in Nagano. AND his name is Ren Yabuki. You may not like it Tina, but there are MANY japanese who completely disagree with the disgusting practice of Taiji. Not just foreigners

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

There are unjust men as well as unjust laws so don't say it's legal by law.Killing of dolphins or whales is wrong and if allowed to continue,will have devastating effects on mankind!What's the use of living on a dead planet?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

he was born in Nagano. AND his name is Ren Yabuki.

Having a Japanese name or born in Nagano does not tell a nationality.

there are MANY japanese who completely disagree with the disgusting practice of Taiji. Not just foreigners

Not many Japanese,  not many foreign countries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Killing of dolphins or whales is wrong

Why?

if allowed to continue,will have devastating effects on mankind!

It has been going on for centuries and the current levels are lower than in the past (especially with whales). So why is it now going to be a problem and just what devastating effects are going to happen?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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