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Season's first dolphins killed in annual Taiji hunt

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The town kicked off its hunt last week, but bad weather hampered efforts to trap the dolphins, officials said earlier.

Here's to hoping a typhoon decides to form right over Taiji and then sit there for the next few months.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Taiji would be better off reinventing itself as a centre for whale-watching and swimming with dolphins.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Disgusting. Words fail me.

Poor dolphins. Filthy bloody hunters.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Now Dolphins and Whales killing is wrong not right. Big Fail

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Defenders of the hunt say it is a tradition and point out that the animals are not endangered, a position echoed by the Japanese

No! It WAS a tradition! Now, it is an international business, which is quite contrary to their 'cultural' defence. Furthermore, whether they are endangered or not should not be part of the defence. That's just like saying, "they are there, so let's kill them!" However, the really stupid thing is, the WHO organisation deemed dolphin meat unfit for human consumption due to the high amounts of pesticides and heavy metals present in the meat, but these idiots ignore this fact and keep chowing down on it and feeding it to their kids, with support from the government. 'Ignorance can be cured, but stupidity cannot!' They ignore all the health warnings just out belligerent ignorance! Idiots!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Disgusted. I hope that they can someday see the worth in tourism is far greater than the worth and negativity in killing these beautiful intelligent animals.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

It was never a tradition. It started in 1969.

It was never "culture". Most Japanese had never heard of it until The Cove brought publicity to something they'd successively hidden for years.

This is a disgusting shame on Japan.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Don't care. I'm some 40-something guy from Iowa. People don't care. Obviously some do. Taiji is beautiful. I visited. One of the few times I was sad I was some white guy--beach was off limits (at least to "others"). I support Taiji. --Me.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

This is one group that makes Japan look bad in the eyes of the international community and with the Olympics coming can be an eye sore and reflect poorly on Japanese as being "savages". This will disrupt tourism, and the Abe administration should take action immediately to end this butchery by this senseless uneducated fishermen who are giving Japan a bad rap. There is no honor in corralling any animal just to butcher it senseless and that in itself is disrespecting the act and principle of hunting altogether. This is just senseless butchering by bloodthirsty uneducated brutes.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

This is just senseless butchering by bloodthirsty uneducated brutes.

Absolutely

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Taiji would be better off reinventing itself as a centre for whale-watching and swimming with dolphins.

This is a great idea. They could make a super cute dolphin character as the town-s mascot while they are at it. And maybe try to contact KyoAni and see if they can get them to produce a Free! OVA featuring Taiji.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I do agree that this sort of hunt should be banned. But I'm sick and tired of the the comments against Japan. Each year it's the same name that comes up : Taiji, Japan Each year the same happens, for some obscure cultural reasons, in the Faroe Islands and nobody cares. It never comes in the news, I call that hypocrisy........

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

“..in Japan ... dolphins are being slaughtered in the cove, ...”

Savages

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The fact that the Taiji Whale Museum dropped out JAZA is indication enough that these senseless slaughters are done not for 'culture', but for greed.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

One of the funny things is that the meat from dolphins is very high in mercury. Children should not eat it, and if adults eat too much, it can cause birth defects in their future children.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Stephan Lawarie is correct. This is so not a Japanese cultural thing. Its only in certain isolated places. I think most Japanese still don't even know its going on.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

No dolphin meat for me.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"Defenders of the hunt say it is a tradition and point out that the animals are not endangered, a position echoed by the Japanese government."

There is approximately 2 tons of uneaten dolphin meat stored in freezers. Taiji tried to force the meat on school children during lunchtime--again citing "culture"---but that fell through as dolphin meat is dangerously high in mercury and tastes like crap.

Look, I understand eating animals and am all for hunting and eating animals that are not endangered and are consumed but this is just a blood-sport, pure and simple.

Shame on you Taiji fisherman. Shame, shame on you. Hope nothing but bad things happen to you.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

in the Faroe Islands and nobody cares. It never comes in the news, I call that hypocrisy........

@Stephan

I disagree. Japan Today frequently features stories on Taiji, but rarely the Faroe Islands, because, well, this is Japan Today. It's focus is news on Japan for the English speaking community.

However, a google search with the keywords "dolphin" and "Faroe" produces 519,000 hits. A google search on "dolphin" and "Taiji" produces a lower number at 461,000 hits. That would seem to suggest less focus is on the Faroe Islands than Taiji.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Activist should blame/accuse Japanese lawmakers and their goverment, not Taiji people and chase lawmakers to stop it. Should not chase local children and women around to film their reactions because simply activists are too angry about their hunts. J government decided everything about dolphin hunts for Taiji. It seems that Taiji fishermen just do what they have to do for living, once year. Taiji has been hunting more or less for 400 years.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

That would seem to suggest less focus is on the Faroe Islands than Taiji.

Correction: I meant to say less focus is on Taiji than on the Faroe Islands.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

http://youtu.be/tbie3DnAkd8

Two Risso's dolphins being herded by fishing boats near Taiji, in Wakayama Prefecture.

But this is how it really looked like.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@SenseNotSoCommon (and everyone else)

Taiji would be better off reinventing itself as a centre for whale-watching and swimming with dolphins

Absolutely. It would be a wealthier town with a brighter future instead, of a town at the centre of a huge controversy where a handful of old men are making a tidy profit while the rest of the town has a bleak economy and where the demographics point to a grim future. Here's an interesting article comparing Taiji to Kaikora, a former whaling town in NZ which has very successfully and profitably transformed itself into a mecca for eco-tourism (I've been, it's a lovely place):

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2014/09/22/issues/kaikoura-taiji-tale-two-whaling-towns/

(incidentally, the writer of that article - a balanced and inoffensive article - is the target of abuse from net uyoku as a result. And we see posters here basically saying that the hunts must continue because it is foreigners who don't like it - it shows that support for the hunts by those in Japan who aren't profiting directly but do support them isn't about what's best for Taiji, it's about us vs. them)

@Stephan Lawarie

I do agree that this sort of hunt should be banned. But I'm sick and tired of the the comments against Japan. Each year it's the same name that comes up : Taiji, Japan Each year the same happens, for some obscure cultural reasons, in the Faroe Islands and nobody cares. It never comes in the news, I call that hypocrisy........

That isn't true at all. The Faroe Islands gets plenty of criticism, but this is Japan Today not Denmark Today

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I'm opposed to this hunting, but I can't help wondering if the kind of an animal were different, say, fish instead of dolphins, would that make any difference?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Depends on the fish.

This hunt is useless. Dolphin meat cannot be eaten because it is high in mercury. There is already more than enough dolphin meat in freezers. Taiji is not some remote village that needs dolphin meat as survival food. This is slaughter for its own sake.

Expect to see the effects of mercury poisoning soon in Taiji.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

But I'm sick and tired of the the comments against Japan.

We aren't against Japan, we are against dolphin hunting. You have followed the same illogical line of reasoning that many Japanese do - to be against the hunts is to be anti-Japanese. Just as many people are against the pilot whale hunts in the Faroe islands - which are at least done in the open, without shame, for the world to see.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Dolphin lives matter.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Yoshitsune

it isn't about what's best for Taiji, it's about us vs. them)

I fully agree. Cultural myths and traditions are great, they make life much more interesting, until the extremists within a culture draw lines to separate us from them. The dolphin kills at Taiji a perfect example, one of thousands.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Throw a few Taji fisher- Killer of dolphins in the sea and let s do to them what they do to Dolphins

Movies and stories won t stop these beastly killers

let them have their own medicine

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

We may not be in Taiji but we are watching and we are sharing on social media all that happens with this cruel slaughter. Julia, United Kingdom

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Come on, telling that something is a "tradition" is an insufficient justification. For the same reasons Japan could reintroduce crucifixion as a form of capital punishment. After all, human specie isn't endangered by the fact that some amount of people are crucified. What about ritual cannibalism in the ancient tribes of central America? It's a tradition too, you know. And its intention was to keep the world intact. To make it clear - that was sarcastic. My point is that traditions are sometimes abandoned and people are glad about it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Dolphin lives matter.

@anotherxpat, Classic!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

“The Cove” used fake picures and exaggerated story lines. Even O'Barry, US animal rights activist, knows it and told Taiji people that he was only told to act his role in the play, no involvement in the story.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

An official with the local fishing union in the small town of Taiji said boats left early Friday morning and trapped a dozen dolphins.

“They have already been killed,” he added.

Great week for Japan on the "humanitarian" front. They dicided 11 refugees last year was too many, so they are "tightening" their regulations to allow fewer folks in. But, meanwhile, they killed twelve dolphins. Yop, there's a society that truly "gets it". (Go ahead Mods, remove this for being "off topic" as you always do that with any post that actually puts things in some perspective.)

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

“The Cove” used fake pictures

Would you care to provide a single link to back up that claim?

I don't 'believe everything I see in films', far from it, and there is nothing wrong with my Japanese ability. But you're dead right on the last one; I really do not care how much animal abusers get their feelings hurt (regardless of where they Iive, or what their nationality is, so stop it with the racist comments, please). What you don't get is how much the butchers of Taiji are hurting Japanese people by letting their barbaric actions taint the whole country.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I don't hate Japan, I just don't like dolphins or whales being killed. I know a lot of Japanese who feel the same way, so it has nothing to do with country and everything do to with the act

But I thought this was no longer economic.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

But I thought this was no longer economic.

Are you kidding? For the animal activists like O'barry or Paul, big business collecting lots of money from emotional westerners. How could they afford to stop?

Would you care to provide a single link to back up that claim?

That's what Taiji people are saying. I think you should read what the Japanese general public are saying about this That's what the westners living in Japan should be doing? becoming a bridge? instead of attacking Japan all the time along with other westerners who never been in Japan?

Wc626 - Why would Japan care what Americans are saying? They are criticizing Japan all the time about anything.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Wc626 - Why would Japan care what Americans are saying? They are criticizing Japan all the time about anything.

Wrong. A recent poll conducted in US showed that majority of americans hold highly favorable opinions of Japanese. (Sorry no links) but that info was floating around many on-line news sites.

Just please admit that savagery behavior to Dolphins is wrong. It's truly disturbing.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

That's what Taiji people are saying.

Ha! To paraphrase Many Miller, Well they would, wouldn't they?

They're also saying that the 'new improved' killing method is humane, when it's been shown to be if anything more horrifying and more painful for the animals.

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/01/27/opinion/safina-dolphin-hunt-killing-method/

And the ones that aren't killed, that go into captivity? Their lifespan is drastically reduced, cut to as little as a tenth of their natural lifespan in the wild. What do 'Taiji people' say about that? That the captive dolphins are spitefully faking their own premature deaths just to show Taiji in a poor light??

http://www.allatsea.net/studies-show-captive-dolphin-programs-shorten-lives/

That's what the westners living in Japan should be doing? becoming a bridge?

Becoming a bridge to give butchers respectability? Why on earth would anyone want to do that? Would you like us to become a bridge for the likes of Tsutomu Miyazaki, Tatsuya Ishihashi, Masumi Hayashi, Shoko Asahara? Saying that bad people are bad, that unacceptable behaviour is unacceptable, is NOT an attack on the whole country. Grow up.

attacking Japan all the time

I don't attack Japan. I love Japan, it's my home, the people I love most in the world are Japanese. That doesn't mean every Japanese person is an angel; there are criminals who prey on other japanese people and do them harm; they need to be caught by the police. Mentioning this is not 'attacking Japan'. Quite the opposite, it is taking Japan's side against the minority who do harm. And there are filthy dolphin butchers, puppy mill operators and cat decapitators who are smearing blood on the reputations of decent Japanese people; they need to be stopped. Mentioning this is not 'attacking Japan'. Quite the opposite, it is taking Japan's side against the minority who do harm to Japan. Would you prefer the Japanese police force to be disbanded, because their catching bad people who happen to be Japanese - proving that some Japanese people are criminals - in some way hurts Japan?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan is hardly a monolith on this. Four types of Japanese responses I found to this issue. 1) Shut up foreigners. Killing cows and killing dolphins, where's the distinction? 2) I'm undecided on this but this issue is giving Japan such a bad name. So why don't we stop it? 3) Dolphins are magnificent intelligent creatures that don't deserve to be killed the way they are in Taiji. 4) No interest.

As outside voice of condemnation heats up, Type 1 grow more defiant and become more supportive of Taiji practice. Type 2 become more strongly convinced that Japan should stop hunting dolphins. Type 3 oppose dolphin hunting anyway. Type 4 shift to type 1 or 2.

Traditionally I sense that the average Japanese person does not feel so much emotional attachment to dolphins and whales. So there are a lot of people in Type 4 category. When outsiders start criticizing Japan on this issue, a lot of them just back off and feel somewhat offended.

More PR activity and softer subtle approach to stimulate intrinsic love for these sea mammals is needed to move type 4 crowd to type 2 or 3. This is a value judgment issue where emotion plays an important part in choosing one's position. Harsh words of censure might work to a degree to win some converts but it also can push some of the originally indifferent Japanese into a cave of xenophobia defiance.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hi Gabrail, I think you've just exactly described what e.g. tinawatanabe has previously explained her position to be i.e. she doesn't really care about dolphins or even Taiji, but since foreigners are telling Japan what to do, she wants the opposite of what they want. This is something that Seashepherd fail to grasp - their actions are actually increasing support for the hunt among many Japanese who otherwise would be indifferent. It is also something that I find rather amusing in terms of the motivations of the Japanese right-wingers - they say that what they do and think shouldn't be determined by foreigners; and yet their entire position is determined by their insisting on taking the opposite position to foreigners, whatever that may be. Not a strong or logical position, unless you see the world as 'us vs them' (as they clearly do)

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@gabrial888

Harsh words of censure might work to a degree to win some converts but it also can push some of the

originally indifferent Japanese into a cave of xenophobia defiance.

Well said. Pardon my pompous pedantry, but I think this happens when cultural memes become parasites on the biological being. Unfortunately every culture has its extremists who are unable to reason beyond their own culture's myths and fictions. What percent of the planet's problems are a result of cultural extremists?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What's needed here is a Japanese remake of Flipper.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Hi, Yoshitusne, maybe tina is one of or someone close to the direct stakeholders meaning Tiji fishermen and their families. For direct stakeholders to be responding sharply or even what others perceive to be hysterically is quite understandable. As other commenters on this board point out, this is an economic issue for them. It's their survival and their tiny remote town's survival at stake. From this economic point of view, telling them not to hunt dolphins is like telling a cattle rancher not to raise cows. I'm not equating dolphin hunting to cattle ranching to be doubly sure.

To PTtownsend, those cultural extremists know that squeaky wheel gets the grease, all right. They always want to play their abrasive noise to its loudest.

@ tubotsat,

What's needed here is a Japanese remake of Flipper.

I couldn't agree with you more. Flipper was never that big in Japan. If was as successful as ET, now there would be much more Japanese who sympathize with poor flippers that are corralled into the cove in Wakayama. It was really unfortunate that without that sympathy fostering stage, Japanese people were thrown into the deep with the belligerently confrontational atmosphere of the movie Cove. Result: a never ceasing tit for tat cycle.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hi again Gabrial; I don't think TW has any direct connection to Taiji, because she has in previous posts on older articles explained that she didn't care about the issue at all until foreigners got involved. And then she had to oppose them! This is the case for the majority of the right-wingers who 'support' Taiji by being racist on the internet and harassing journalists who dare to question the hunt, etc

0 ( +2 / -2 )

racist on the internet and harassing journalists who dare to question the hunt, etc

harassing journalists? Let's see what O'barry did the other day. He was drunk driving drunk enough to attract the local police but not enough to be charged. He said he did not carry his possport with him and was arrested alright and the arrest became international news. I'm sure he increased the donation. He comes to Taiji every year so he must know that he would be released soon. It turned out he had his passport in the car.

It is obvious he is not animal right activist, but animal right interest activist. So who is harassing who?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Where in the world are the decent japanese people that could stop this outrageous act from happening!!! This wouldn't be allowed in a CIVILIZED society, it would be shut down by people who have a conscience... Half a dozen protesters!!! Are you kidding,,,,what a disgrace! The Chinese fearing their government is one thing, but these Japanese need to grow a pair & stop this DISGUSTING behavior!!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He was drunk driving

Be careful tina, your nose is starting to grow. O'Barry was not drunk driving. He passed the breath test.

It turned out he had his passport in the car.

Strange then that he was not given the chance to produce it before being dragged off into custody. So who is harassing who?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

O'Barry was not drunk driving. He passed the breath test.

That's what I said. He was not drunk enough to be charged. We know he drank at an Izakaya before driving.

Strange then that he was not given the chance to produce it before being dragged off into custody.

How do we know that? All we know is he did not produce it intentional or unintentional.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

That's what I said. He was not drunk enough to be charged.

No, you said he was drunk enough to attract the attention of the local police. No one who has drunk enough that it affects their driving badly enough for a passing police officer to notice, is going to pass a Japanese breathalyser test. Reports say that the police stopped his car after receiving 'a tip about a rental car being driven by a drunken driver' that turned out to be totally bogus and was probably harassment from a dolphin killer, or an excuse made up by the police to harass O'Barry. You know this, as you've read the same articles the rest of us have.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Your complaints are going to matter here, you think Taiji people are reading this website and thinking twice about what they are doing. Next week is Silver Week. If these dolphins really matter to you, head to Taiji during the 5 day holiday and form a human chain on the beach.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Tina. I mentioned journalists being harassed by right-wingers, and you start talking about the completely irrelevant topic of O'Barry getting arrested. What I was talking about though was right-wingers making threats against, and posting online the personal details of, people who write articles like the one I posted above. A very balanced and fair article, making very sensible suggestions for Taiji and its future. But those right-wingers don't care about Taiji's future, they just care about blindly opposing foreigners - so instead of engaging in rational discussion, they make personal attacks and racist comments.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It is shocking the way information is censored by the japanese press. Where are the Japanese activists protesting this disgusting act?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They exist. But they get hounded and doxed (i.e. personal details shared online) by right-wing internet activists trying to shut them up and paint them as "anti-Japanese"

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

No one who has drunk enough that it affects their driving badly enough for a passing police officer to notice,

cleo, somebody who saw his drinking reported the police.

that turned out to be totally bogus and was probably harassment from a dolphin killer, or an excuse made up by the police to harass O'Barry.

I saw the opposite. O'barry, wanted to make a news headline, had the police arrest himself and made Japan look like harassing him..He know he is famous there, why does he have to make a very light drinking and drive? I think he used the police for the publicity.

You know this, as you've read the same articles the rest of us have.

No. I read both sides of stories in English and Japanese.

What I was talking about though was right-wingers making threats against, and posting online the personal details of, people who write articles like the one I posted above.

Yoshitsune, I never saw right-wingers making threats on dolphin. Japanese right-wingers don't speak English.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I never saw right-wingers making threats on dolphin. Japanese right-wingers don't speak English

I didn't say they were making threats in English. The author of the article I posted above is currently being subjected to an online campaign of intimidation (on Twitter) from Japanese right-wingers - in Japanese, which he writes and speaks to near-native level. The article doesn't even say anything to get angry about!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The author of the article I posted above is currently being subjected to an online campaign of intimidation (on Twitter) from Japanese right-wingers - in Japanese!

Hard to believe, where? I want to see. The posts in the article you posted above does not have any intimidation.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yoshitsune. After dealing with the English language Japanese press I find that completely believable. Those of us looking in from the outside would think it would be easy in a country as supposedly advanced as japan to get the support to end such a disgusting act. We've been under the impression that honor is a big deal in Japan & there is absolutely nothing bringing more dishonor to the country than the slaughter of dolphins & whales.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

cleo - No, you said he was drunk enough to attract the attention of the local police.

O'Barry attracted the attention of the police. It's unknown if O'Barry's supporters or detractors brought O'Barry's driving to the attention of the police. Either way, if the last thing he was famous for occurred some 40 years ago, O'Barry welcomes the attention.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@tina

Hard to believe that net uyoku intimidate people in order to shut them up? A university in Hokkaido fired a lecturer last year after uyoku threatened to bomb them if they didn't. So intimidation by posting an individual's personal details on Twitter shouldn't be hard to believe at all.

@philo

We've been under the impression that honor is a big deal in Japan & there is absolutely nothing bringing more dishonor to the country than the slaughter of dolphins & whales

The problem is that right-wingers in Japan feel themselves to have a monopoly on what is considered honorable for all Japanese people; it is up to them what Japanese people should think and say.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It's unknown if O'Barry's supporters or detractors brought O'Barry's driving to the attention of the police.

Why didn't I think about the possibility? Yes it could be O'Barry's supporters who called the police. No wonder he passed the breath test. He was not drinking to begin with. And he has a Japanese supporter or at least Japanese speaking supporter.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If it is such a great tradition, why cover the cove so that the World can't see what you are doing? I suspect that you know that it is wrong to torture anything. I am against the hunt, and even more so about the torture. I have many Japanese friends that are appalled by the Taiji drive. The are ashamed to call themselves Japanese at this time of the year. It is not just one a year when it is for six months!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

why cover the cove so that the World can't see what you are doing?

They're doing it from kindness so that you don't get upset. I know westerners often scream on trivial things such as a grilled fish laying on the plate.

The are ashamed to call themselves Japanese

In USA? Maybe time to change their passports?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

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