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Japan criticized over dolphin show at World Cup sailing competition ceremony

27 Comments
By Behrouz Mehri

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© 2018 AFP

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"We should have recognised this as a sensitive issue. We were not careful," said Kawano, who added that different countries and individuals have different views on the treatment of dolphins.

Meaning in Japan-speak, "We really don't give a shite about what you all think, we do things our way and if you were butt-hurt get over it. This is Japan, and we do things OUR way"

12 ( +12 / -0 )

"If there were people who were offended, I'd like to apologise," said the federation head Hirobumi Kawano.

Translation: "We don't give a toss what you think and really don't see why we have to apologise for anything ever, but I'm making this apology. Which isn't an apology at all".

11 ( +11 / -0 )

animal welfare is not one of Japan's strong suits (unless the animal is cute or is a mascot)

9 ( +13 / -4 )

hakman:

Criticizing some of Japan's actions does not mean bashing or hating Japan. I will criticize my own country and politicians if I see fit.

I criticize my country when it does something bad so that it can become a better place. Sitting on your backside and letting your country's politicians or some citizens do some shameful things means you just don't care where your country is heading.

Accusing critics of being Japan-bashers is like Trump calling news fake just because he doesn't like what the news says about him. And it's lazy too.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Japanese have no idea when it comes to zoos and aquariums.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Wow, that's one classic passive-aggressive non-apology. Was he brushing his lapel as he said it?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

“[.World Sailing] said that all ceremony-related content must be pre-approved, but "no such approval was given nor sought" from the organising committee for the show.”

So did the organizers hide just the dolphin show segment and spring it on the attendees on the day of the event? Or did they not submit any plans at all for the entire event, and if so did the World Sailing people press them to submit the plans? Or?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

They should be thankful they weren’t offered fried dolphin on a stick as well.

This is purely anecdotal but I knew a Scottish guy years ago who claimed he went to an aquarium in Japan (perhaps Wakayama) and beneath the tanks were recipes. Then again this guy had 12 toes...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A great example of Japan's isolated position on many levels and it's lack of global awareness. Once the international media get here on mass looking for stories expect more uncomfortable truths to be aired.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

For sure! 2020 will be an interesting year. But in typical dictator-like fashion, most of the more embarrassing issues will be hidden away. And people will fall for the old omotenashi thing and regale about how well they were treated by everyone. Japan is a great place to visit, but living and working here is a different animal.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Ah, yes! The island nation does it again! Japan exists in its own little reality bubble. I’m sure they expected to hear screams of “kowaii” from the foreign boaties.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Oh lord. The organizers and this country have no clue. Absolutely no clue.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Slight improvement on his comment. "As a nation, I hope we can show more morality than this."

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Slight improvement on his comment. "As a nation, I hope we can show more morality than this."

Japanese guy didn't make the comment, so why the "improvement"?

The event drew criticism, including from British yachtsman Luke Patience, who won a silver medal at the London 2012 games.

He later tweeted: "I was shocked when World Sailing took us to a dolphin aquarium for an opening ceremony. As a sport, I hope we can show more morality than this."

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan is a great place to visit, but living and working here is a different animal.

Same exact thing is said by people in every country I have been to. Huge difference between being a tourist and expat no matter where you go.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I think we can all see the huge faux pas that the organisers created here,

And no, we ain't Japan bashing. Why is it that when we don't like or complain about something, folk come on here and clain we are Japan bashing?

I Scotland/ UK bash when I'm there too.

I live, work and more importantly pay tax in Japan. That give me the right to complain.

Even though....I have no legal voice or anyone will listen.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Animals that should be free in the ocean spend their lives cooped up in tiny pools, eating dead fish. And that's before any training even starts. How can it not be cruel?

How the hell can people downvote a comment like this? Is it that our societies affect the part of the brain where compassion and empathy exists? I just don't get why it's so hard for people to live and let live, and why it's impossible for individuals to put themselves in the shoes of others - including animals.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"If there were people who were offended, I'd like to apologise," said the federation head Hirobumi Kawano.

Classic Japanese non-apology! How deep was the bow?

Seriously, this story emphasizes that both animal and human rights just... never really caught on in Japan. Gaikoku is just such a big country and people are just doing so many things differently. You can hardly blame the Japanese organizers of international events for being a little... uhhh... overwhelmed... at times, right?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

"We should have recognised this as a sensitive issue. 

Ya reckon? Only for the last 2-3 decades. Japan's completely out of touch when it comes to animal welfare. They just don't get it.

Pretty sure they thought 'let's show the world we also luv dolphins!' 'yeah great idea, they'll luv it'!

The sad thing is they probably thought they were being 'sensitive'. How do you say faux-pas in J?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Ah, Japan... always showing what they THINK others want to see (or should want to see), and getting laughed at and criticised, then ultimately trying to justify it or just plain say "It's none of your business!", or desperate attempts at deflection, like with Hakman's comment "I see it as more of an example of how stories like this bring all of the Japan-bashers out on this site," etc. Once again they've forgotten to simply ask someone outside the loop what others might think -- in this case failing to get permission, which they needed. Well done, idiots.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The world sailing federation should withdraw from the 2020 event instead of the spineless "voiced disappointment".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You invite the world, better deal with global thinkers and sensibilities. Learning curve for all. Agree with much of the comments above about the typical meaningless apology though. Some poor bugger drew the short straw on that one.

Either way the usual defenders of Japanese values and dolphin meat will dig in even deeper with the counter. Those that apologized will be raked over the coals. Nothing will change either.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I might be ignorant and I know it's a long topic but if NON-cruel methods are used in dolphin training what is exactly so much against the animal welfare?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

if NON-cruel methods are used in dolphin training what is exactly so much against the animal welfare?

Animals that should be free in the ocean spend their lives cooped up in tiny pools, eating dead fish. And that's before any training even starts. How can it not be cruel?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"Couldn't be more embarrassed with what I'm witnessing. We are sailors, and apparently a 'green' sport,"

I wonder what the equipment for this "green sport" is made from. From petroleum-based products, no doubt.

And I presume that none of these "green sportspeople" ever eat fish, crabs, lobsters, scallops, or any other seafood. They're so concerned about sea life, after all.

I agree that hunting and eating dolphins is unnecessary. But protesting the keeping of dolphins in aquariums is over the top.

Doesn't keeping them in aquariums so that we human beings can see them and appreciate them help the species in the long run? Doesn't it help raise awareness of how beautiful these creatures are and how we should pay attention to protecting them?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

And this on the day I adopted a wild dolphin.

I love Japan, love the people... but sometimes I just want to grab them by the scruff and point out that they really need to wake up to animal welfare. I'm sure one day, who knows when, a Japanese politician might wake up to the fact that people don't want to see performing animals any more.

Here in the UK we no longer have dolphinariums. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-35832175

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

A great example of Japan's isolated position on many levels

I see it as more of an example of how stories like this bring all of the Japan-bashers out on this site.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

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