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Star of dolphin-killing film 'Cove' detained at Narita airport

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By YURI KAGEYAMA

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banning this guy from entering Japan is ridiculous.

Agreed

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

LOL. I have no problem if Japanese want to eat mercury contaminated, cancer causing whale meat but banning this guy from entering Japan is ridiculous.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They just had the first report about his deportation on the Japanese TV news because Annonymous successfully hacked into the Narita and Chubu airport websites today.Did not mention his name just that a protestor had been deported

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A very foolish move on Japan's part

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Fadamor - Granted, but what movie did he come to Japan to star in? Unless he arrived with a camera crew, Japan is going to have to back down.

It looks like Japan isn't going to back down. O'Barry has been ordered to leave Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Granted, but what movie did he come to Japan to star in? Unless he arrived with a camera crew, Japan is going to have to back down.

The movie The Cove.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

However, when foreign nationals engage in paid activities in Japan, or their periods of stay exceed those stipulated in each country’s arrangement of short-term stay, visas will be required to enter Japan.

Starring in a movie is a paid activity.

CH3CHO, the situation is not so clear. "Paid" refers to the location in which he receives pay, not necessarily the location in which he performed the actions that led to receiving pay.

Consider a corporation that convenes a meeting of Americans, Canadians, Taiwanese, Australians, and Japanese, at some location in Japan. Japan is chosen for the meeting because it is central, and various things are discussed at the meeting, but all the board members receive their pay in their home country. It is perfectly legal for all of them to enter Japan on the visa waiver program. The executives are all receiving pay... just not in Japan.

An even simpler example would be a graduate student on a stipend who goes abroad from Japan to conduct research. S/he is paid in Japan and will enter "research" on the disembarkation card in the other country even if the research is being paid for outside that country.

Or should Australia demand visas and local taxes from the fish sold in Tsukiji because the boats passed through Australian waters to get those fish?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

ah yes, the fear of political views and action. Just like China.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Starring in a movie is a paid activity.

Granted, but what movie did he come to Japan to star in? Unless he arrived with a camera crew, Japan is going to have to back down.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Japan's govt and people think otherwise

There you go again, as usual speaking for everyone in Japan. But you can't. Most Japanese don't know anything about Ric o'Barry.

You should be detained too

Haha! Smith should be detained for what?! Disagreeing with you on an internet forum? Well, that actually would be like China!

You are acting like NK or China telling Japan what to eat

Yet you just called for someone to be detained for what they say online.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Starring in a movie is a paid activity

Not necessarily. How much was O'Barry paid?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Starring in a movie is a paid activity.

His son, Lincoln O'Barry, told CNN that his father had entered Japan to monitor the hunt, to test the dolphin meat for >>mercury poisoning and to work with local activists.

Those do not look like being some paid activity in Japan , who is paying him in Japan ? Japan is simply becoming, with this last action, the land of arbitrary detention, no more different then what one (or a journalist) could experience in a banana republic.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

CNN reporting ric will be deported and not allowed to return until after he is dead. He can apply to return in five years but his application will be rejected again and again but he is welcome to apply. He will never set foot in Japan again. Period.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

FadamorJAN. 20, 2016 - 10:34PM JST

An American visiting Japan for less than 90 days doesn't need ANY visa.

That is a common misunderstanding. http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/short/novisa.html

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

Nationals and citizens of those countries and regions shown below are not required to obtain visas to enter Japan when their visits are tourism, commerce, conferences, visiting relatives/ acquaintances, etc. However, when foreign nationals engage in paid activities in Japan, or their periods of stay exceed those stipulated in each country’s arrangement of short-term stay, visas will be required to enter Japan.

Starring in a movie is a paid activity.

He must have turned in the "Disembarkation card" at the immigration gate. https://thomasgittel.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/embarkation-card-new-front.jpg

Which box in the "purpose of visit" column did he check? Was the declared purpose the true purpose of his visit?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Takashi Takano told CNN that Ric O'Barry has been detained in a deportees' facility at the airport on Monday and that he had met with the activist in the company of immigration officials. Takano was told by officials that O'Barry had tried to enter Japan on a tourist visa but his tourist status was not fully proven. Officials refused to refused to provide him with further information.

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/01/19/asia/dolphin-activist-held-in-tokyo/

His son, Lincoln O'Barry, told CNN that his father had entered Japan to monitor the hunt, to test the dolphin meat for mercury poisoning and to work with local activists.

So, not tourism, according to the son. And O'Barry WAS associated with the movie The Cove. He was in it. O'Barry denies a connection to Sea Shepherd.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

According to Ric O’Barry’s website for his Dolphin Project, Mr. O’Barry denied having to do anything with Sea Shepherd and The Cove. Please correct your article to reflect his own website stated he denied being affiliated with The Cove. Perhaps it is in that denial that is delaying a conclusion to his detention.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

iradickle - What's said is often more important than who said it. I've a few "has-beens" say something that's made an impact on me.

What is being said is that O'Barry is not welcome in Japan. The immigration authorities at Narita international airport have two orders for O'Barry. Get out! And stay out! The attention-seeking has-been O'Barry has no inherent right to enter any country other than his own, which I assume is the USA.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

An American visiting Japan for less than 90 days doesn't need ANY visa.

True, but lying about your purpose of visit (business vs. tourism) will get you on an exclusive list.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The herding , capture, , and killing of these beautiful creatures is inhumane, and barbaric... Japan should hang it's head in shame, there is nothing traditional about it . Evil prevails here ! Ric Obarry may be hurting the Japanese feelings, but so be it, he should be hailed a saint for doing everything in his power to educate and inform the Japanese public ... As it seems their own governments will not ! Protect our oceans and the wildlife in it before it's to late, If The Oceans Die, We Die !!!!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

It seems to show Japan does not allow critical views,”

I'm shocked, shocked -- to find that media muzzling is going on in Japan!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

CNN reports that if deported he will be barred from entering Japan for 5 years.

Also he is already married, so (although presumably suggested in jest in the first place) the spousal visa route isn't an option.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

He should put up a statue of a leary-eyed Flipper in front of the Japanese embassy in the US.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

he has been hurting practically all the Japanese people's feelings

Good grief. I doubt that most Japanese have any idea who he is.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

To those who think that there is no one in Japan who oppose the horrific dolphin drive hunts, the killing of and the selling of live dolphins to captivity facilities - OMG are you wrong about that ! Before you speak out not knowing the facts, why don't you visit his site and learn what and who this remarkable man is who is out there trying to change things for the better for the people there & for the dolphins who's birth right it is to live free in their ocean homes !

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

. Have yiu ever lied to United States immigration? They blacklist you for 5 to infinite years

But the US is a "truly" sovereign country. Unlike Japan, hosting USAFJ and DOD Facilities. Japan cannot blacklist top US Authorities.

O'Barry should've got permission from the State Department to land in NAF Atsugi or Yokota, where there are NO japanese customs / immigration personnel.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I still think his only option is to get a Japanese wife.

No chance, he has been hurting practically all the Japanese people's feelings.

Seriously, any better ideas out there?

Yes, comply with Japan's decision then in some years he may have a chance.

-14 ( +2 / -15 )

He didn't have a proper visa, right?

An American visiting Japan for less than 90 days doesn't need ANY visa.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

He lied to immigration and they foud out.

Do you have evidences to backup your claim or are you just making things up to try to cover this arbitrary detention ?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

He lied to immigration and they foud out. BAD luck. Have yiu ever lied to United States immigration? They blacklist you for 5 to infinite years

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

If the last time O'Barry left Japan he was told not to come back, I have no problem with the authorities detaining him. Otherwise, that's some weak tea.

I don't know what country would inform such a thing and care whether you have no problem or not.

-12 ( +1 / -12 )

Danny BloomJAN. 20, 2016 - 05:31PM JST its perfectly legal and every nation has the legal right to refuse entry to anyone they deem so.

I have no problem with nations refusing the right of entry. I do think however it's quite poor form to detain someone if they haven't been informed they aren't welcome in the country except for in very extreme cases - and I'm sorry, but making an embarrassing video or staging a protest simply do not count. If the last time O'Barry left Japan he was told not to come back, I have no problem with the authorities detaining him. Otherwise, that's some weak tea.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Is he a vegetarian? Is so he should be allowed to criticize Japan hunt on sea mammals. Otherwise he should f* right off to where he belongs. Nothing disgust me more than this kind of American hypocrisy

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And he violated the Immigration Control Act last time.

Article 5 Any alien who falls under any of the following items shall be denied permission for landing in Japan.

(ii) A person who, due to a mental disorder, is unable to understand right from wrong or whose capacity for such understanding is significantly lacking, and is not accompanied by those persons provided for by a Ministry of Justice ordinance to assist him or her in engaging in activities in Japan.

(xii) A person who organizes, or is a member of, or is closely affiliated with any of the following political parties or organizations:

(a) A political party or organization which encourages acts of violence or the assault, killing, or injury of officials of the Government or of local public entities for the reason of their being such officials

(b) A political party or organization which encourages illegal damage or destruction of public facilities

(c) A political party or organization which encourages acts of dispute such as stopping or preventing normal maintenance or operation of security facilities of a plant or place of work

(xiii) A person who attempts to prepare, distribute, or exhibit printed matters, motion pictures, or any other documents or drawings to attain the objectives of any political party or organization prescribed in item (xi) or the preceding item.

(xiv) In addition to those persons listed in items (i) to (xiii), a person whom the Minister of Justice has reasonable grounds to believe is likely to commit an act which could be detrimental to the interests or public security of Japan.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

when you leave your name is quietly and without notification or fanfare put on a immigration blacklist

If Japan decides someone should not be allowed into the country, with today's sophisticated system of pre-flight clearances, the persona non grata should not have been able to board the plane.

Unless Mr. O'Barry was notified, and chose to attempt to enter anyway (and perhaps create an incident which would drup up sentiment for his cause -- which many think is a worthy one), I can't see why this farce of having people reach the immigration gates only to be put behind bars and repatriated at great expense. He should have been notified before boarding his flight to Japan.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

this kind of immigration blacklist is different from what we normally think of as political blacklisting. this in this case is a list of people that Japan has decided should never be allowed back into their country, usually as a result of being arrested or detained for some legal issue on a previous visit. it does not pertain to first time visitors. but if you do something in japan that the authorities didnt like, when you leave your name is quietly and without notification or fanfare put on a immigration blacklist so the next time you try to enter japan, the computer at the arrival customs gate screeches and tells the clerk you are not to be aklowed in. and no explanTion is mandated to be given. you are either gently put on the very next flight back to yr home country, or as in cove guy case, you are "detained" which is not as strong as being arrested. and while in detention yr lawyer can attempt to appeal the detention, but in 99.9 percent of the appeals, you will never win. so in due course cove guy will be sent home without being allowed into the magic kingdom. its perfectly legal and every nation has the legal right to refuse entry to anyone they deem so.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Sorry to hear that Rick O'Barry was not allowed entry to Japan. When is Japan going to self police this horrible murder of these gentle creatures. Many years ago I decided that zoos and Aquariums as well as circuses are terrible forms of entertainment and never took my children to them. All the folks who say that those establishments are concerned about preserving wildlife are full of it. It always about the money in any industry. I hope that the younger Japanese people will boycott all companies that deal in these practices and sources of fake foods.

4 ( +8 / -3 )

Bwahahaha! I thought the star of 'the cove' was the slaughtered Dolphins. Rick O'Barry has nothing to do with Sea Shepherd at all although, they do have similar stances against Japan's rape of the seas. This is clearly a trumped up charge in an attempt to inconvenience O'Barry. The really crazy thing is though, the harder Japan tries to discredit and alienate O'Barry the more foolish Japan looks and the more determined the activists become. It also brings much more media attention to Japan and highlights the activists's stance.

I guess I had better remove the Sea Shepherd sticker from my guitar case and not try to get a tax deduction for my SS donations. At least Japan does not specifically discriminate by race only. They discriminate against anybody that is not Japanese or anybody that does not support Japanese ideals and cultural BS.

Moderator: Please repost without the last sentence which is both offensive and incorrect.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan has the right to decide which foreign nationals it lets in, and which it doesn't. Regardless of the merits of what happens at Taiji or where you sit on the whaling debate (I have no problem with Japan whaling within its own territorial waters), it is clear his visit would not be trouble free.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Dude your 15 minutes are way past its expiration date.

-2 ( +4 / -7 )

" these people go overboard to attack Japan about its dolphin and whale hunts but stay silent when it comes to Norway and Iceland. "

Not so. The whaling and dolphin hunting is a big issue for Norway, Iceland, and the Faroese too, as you can easily check. One big difference is, though, that these countries do not sail around the world to hunt in intl. waters, so they therefore do not put themselves as blatantly in the spotlight.

As for the tourist visa, this is of course pure arrogant politics. As others have said, if Japan officially declares him PNG, they should tell him in advance.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

arrestpaul

What's said is often more important than who said it. I've a few "has-beens" say something that's made an impact on me.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

This issue is not widely condemned across the world

Yes, it is

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Seamac - So the lesson is that anyone is welcome to come to Japan to spend money, but not to expose Japanese practices that are widely condemned across the world. There's nothing morally bankrupt about that.

This issue is not widely condemned across the world. Most people of the world don't know, and don't care, about O'Barry, flipper, the dolphin project, dolphins, or Taiji. It's only a very small minority of vocal animal rights activists who are claiming that they speak for "the world". That's just silly.

He has the support of high-profile celebrities, including Sting, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy and former Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum.

Seriously? Is this really the best names the author could dig up? A couple of old has-beens supporting a old animal trainer who was famous way back in 1967?

-16 ( +3 / -19 )

"citizen 2012, no crime is needed to blacklist someone. every country, your country too, has the legal right to bar anyone they wish from entry at airport or ports. his name was entered on computer blacklist after last cove skirmishes and that is why he was detained before passing through customs get. his name came up on computer. he is PNG for life. he can never return. blacklisted for life. Had he checkd with Japanese embassy in USA before leaving on his flight they would have told him while he could certainly get on a plane to Japan and disembark at the Narita airport, he would not be allowed inside the country past the custom control area. Best to ask.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As for that passport incident, he had his passport with him in his car. The cops stopped him, purely coincidentally of course (wink, wink), made him step out of the car and then asked him for his passport, which of course was not literally on him, so they made a big deal about it. He was let go by the way, with the warning

Or his friend called the police about his drunk driving although he was not drunk and let the police ask for his passport. Although he had his passport with him in his car, he lied he didn't have it and made it a big public relation by getting arrested knowing his quick release. I'm sure Japan's authority was not happy being used by him for his publicity. I wonder how much donation he raised by the arrest.

-16 ( +1 / -16 )

"You pointed out something we do wrong" you can't come in. That's it. I'm serious if this country would get out of that "Right way, Wrong way, Japanese way" way of thinking they could might learn something. Dolphin has high mercury levels, you know what doesn't About 100% of the things that regular people eat here. Eat good food and stop clubbing dolphins to death. Not a hard choice really. But "This is Japan!!" and "It's a tradition!!" is all they say. It's a shame really.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Its funny how these people go overboard to attack Japan about its dolphin and whale hunts but stay silent when it comes to Norway and Iceland. Whites used to kill these animals on a biblical scale and were the driving force behind the near extinction of them. Now that they've discovered their own sense of morality, whites want to inflict it upon others. The record of this is extensive. Europeans have killed whales, dolphins, Buffaloes, elephants, rhinos, lions, tigers, and everything else that walks, crawls, swims, or flies. And they did all of this in the name of sport, for the sake of a trophy. Many times whole carcasses were left to rot under the sun. Now, because of white hegemony, the animals that they once slaughtered indiscriminately are now considered "special beings" because they say so. Never mind what the Asians think. Never mind what African farmers think. It's the same frame of mind that Cleo subscribes to when she says things like this:

Also no different from eating dog or cat or budgie or elephant or cow. All gross, cruel, and unnecessary.

Like the guy being detained, she sees her view as a universal law of nature. It's their way or the highway. They don't recognize that other peoples have different views, cultures, and even different pallets. Nope! Eating meat is unequivocally gross and the only thing worser is eating whale or dolphin. Hindus don't eat cow but that doesn't matter because they're not white. Whites eat beef, so hey. Well, Chinese and Koreans eat dog. But wait! Dogs are pets, even family memebers to westerners, but yet, whites march into China and lambast them for eating dog.

So I say it's great that this guy is being detained. Stop trying to force your morality, your version of things on other people.

Let's see this guy do a film about Norway or Iceland.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

According to his son on CNN, this person is detained every time he arrives in Japan, so yes, he is clearly on some list of undesirable persons, but only for the wrong reasons. These nitwits here in Japan have unwittingly once more drawn international attention to the fact that they are going to harass people who are critical of certain activities conducted in this country.

As for that passport incident, he had his passport with him in his car. The cops stopped him, purely coincidentally of course (wink, wink), made him step out of the car and then asked him for his passport, which of course was not literally on him, so they made a big deal about it. He was let go by the way, with the warning that he must have his passport on him even while in the shower, never mind common sense. And yes, he is also active in the Solomon Islands.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

If he'd been declared PNG, he wouldn't have been able to obtain a visa or board a flight. One wonders if this call was made on the fly by the official in charge, or one of his higher-ups. In any event, it will reinforce the perception that Japan bars entry to those who reveal unpleasant truths - which, on the face of it, seems to be the case.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Wouldn't it be considered eco-tourism? Mater of perspective I am sure. He has brought to the light awareness...the only people I have ever heard of supporting this is someone in that industry. None of my Japanese friends and in-laws had a clue about the consumption of dolphin meat let alone the way it is harvested. I have specifically asked if my kids school lunches are to contain whale (often illegally labeled dolphin) or dolphin I want to know as I do not want them eating that toxic shit. I hope Rick continues is awareness work and keeps himself out of trouble while doing it.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Perhaps his time would be better invested in going to the Solomon Islands. The people there kill lots of Dolphins regularly.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Firstly, how does one determine what is "not a tourist?" Secondly, being "not a tourist" is not illegal. If he's doing something illegal, then say what it is, instead of saying "not a >>tourist." If he's not illegally entering Japan, then he's legally allowed in.

People, are we seeing the new "re-interpretation" of the waiving visa program in Japan, to enter Japan, you must now be a tourist defined as spending money in an hotel, follow only the official guideline of sightseeing location and return back home with a big smile on your face ? I have never heard of somebody being detained before for not being "a tourist", either he can apply to the waiver program or he cannot.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

waiving visa program is exactly made to not have to apply for visa

You're still required to give the purpose of your visit. Based on his last visit, it's completely reasonable to conclude that he was not here to enjoy the hot springs and Japanese cuisine. If you want to flout immigration procedures, then be prepared to live with the consequences.

In addition, he has a history of arrest in Japan precisely for an immigration violation (not being able to produce his passport).

https://dolphinproject.net/blog/post/breaking-ric-obarry-arrested-in-japan/

And he had close ties to the Sea Shepherd eco-terrorists.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

Did he come out and say he was here to protest because it is easy to come in on a tourist visa if you don't say anything at the airport? No mention of a "blacklist".

2 ( +3 / -1 )

OMG..... there goes freedom of expression!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Ric O’Barry, the former dolphin trainer for the “Flipper” TV series, said immigration officials barred him at the airport Monday and told him he couldn’t enter Japan on a tourist visa because he wasn’t a tourist, according to his lawyer, Takashi Takano.

How did immigration determine that?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Exactly

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Readers, please keep the discussion focused on O'Barry's detention. That is what the story is about.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Where are our priorities? I don't know for "ours" but we can answer for the Japanese govt's ones....the Dolphin slaughtering case ! It is so important for the Japanese govt to suppress any negative views on that topic that they even made a private black list and put this person name on it and asked all the emigration officers in Japan to stop him at the border.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Firstly, how does one determine what is "not a tourist?"

Secondly, being "not a tourist" is not illegal. If he's doing something illegal, then say what it is, instead of saying "not a tourist." If he's not illegally entering Japan, then he's legally allowed in.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Why Japanese people, why? Rather than hide behind what starts as negative news or information, the government & media should turn it around and show how to enjoy this delicacy, if indeed that's what's behind e slaughter of the dolphins...or whales or whatever. I've eaten dog before. Not my cup of tea, but some people like it. I enjoyed snake, too. Rabbit is common in many Wwestern nations. I don't know if O'Barry deserves or needs to be detained, but he could go around and make a movie of the slaughtering of cows, pigs, etc. Probably not so different. Killing an animal because it's food is not wrong. Not choosing one because someone considers it cute is ok. I love my cat. I have a good relationship with her. We communicate. I don't necessarily think all dolphins are to be protected just because some people can communicate with one or two. Consciousness exists in all creation. Some say they can communicate with trees or elephants or whatever. If indeed people do eat dolphin meat I'd want to see it, even taste it. If it's just for scientific (read money) purposes and the species is endangered then I'd not accept it.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

shonanbbJAN. 20, 2016 - 10:13AM JST Meat is meat, and we are teh higher species on the planet and in control of what is consumed. It is all cultural people. Shoving one's values down the throat of another is not very nice.

This is quite simply untrue. We can empirically show that the cognitive abilities and awareness of suffering of say, a prawn, is far below that of say, an orangutan. Different animals have different levels of awareness, and though mammals tend to be higher up the awareness chain, cetaceans has been shown through cognitive experiments to have levels of awareness that other mammals tend not to. It's not simply cultural.

dcog9065JAN. 20, 2016 - 10:25AM JST Cows and chickens and other animals that are eaten for their meat are definitely sentient

Not "definitely". They certainly have pain receptors in their nervous systems that tell them when their bodies have been damaged, but it is not at all clear that they have an emotional awareness of pain, let alone of their own identity. Dolphins have passed cognitive experiments to show that they are aware of themselves as an entity separate from other creatures around it that have their own identities. Cows and Chickens have not yet been shown to have these abilities. So when a cow or chicken sees another cow or chicken killed, it may exhibit a reflexive sense of fear out of the need for self-preservation, we have no scientific evidence to show that the cow or chicken was emotionally aware of the other animals in the barnyard. Evidence so far only suggests they respond to other animals through biologically-programmed instinctive responses. The evidence for dolphins, however, is quite different.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Pigs are on a level close to Dogs Chimpanzee, etc.And not much below Dolphins.

Easily checked.

Flipper, Jaws, Lassie all paint a wrong picture and have done damage.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

He didn't have a proper visa, right?

waiving visa program is exactly made to not have to apply for visa.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

1, Sea Shepherd are not pirates. 2, Japan simply looks bad for putting him on a blacklist. As if to say they are afraid Rick might embarrass them during his visit. 3, If other givernments took a firmer stance against Japan's whaling and dolphin hunting there would be no need for Sea Shepherd and the Cove Guarduans to exist

8 ( +15 / -7 )

If he is the "Star" wouldn't that make him a dolphin... or in that case, a villager???

Just saying..

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

@citizen2012, i agree with yr pov. well said.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Ric O’Barry, the former dolphin trainer for the “Flipper” TV series, said immigration officials barred him at the airport Monday and told him he couldn’t enter Japan on a tourist visa because he wasn’t a tourist, according to his lawyer, Takashi Takano.

O’Barry has been stopped and questioned at Japanese immigration before, and has been temporarily taken into custody by local police on suspicion of not having proper travel documents. But this is the first time he has been detained in this way.

So, this is his second time.

What is the purpose of his trip to Japan? What did he write on the entry document? Why does not his layer say anything about the purpose of his trip? If he wrote "sight seeing" on the paper he turned in at the gate but the true purpose of his trip was not sight seeing, it is a crime of its own.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

He didn't have a proper visa, right?

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

@Danny, there is no doubt he is a persona non grata disguised but then just say so..., no one is buying that tourist waiver program violation, only those who does not want him to talk about the dolphin killing of course. Narita and their underground are looking like more and more to some dungeons where human rights are suppressed if you are not welcome, maybe amnesty international should investigate Narita.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

>Takano said O’Barry’s treatment sent a negative message about Japan.

Japan is a wonderful country with a generally positive image. However, when it comes to issues regarding the protection of wildlife, be it whales, dolphins and now elephants, Japan's reputation is shabby to say the least. The article below, from The Independent "Environmental Investigation Agency alleges that Japanese wildlife officials promote illegal ivory trade" is yet another example.

It has been alleged by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) that an official at the Japanese government-appointed agency that controls the country’s domestic ivory market is encouraging illegal trade in elephant tusks.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/campaigns/GiantsClub/environmental-investigation-agency-alleges-that-japanese-wildlife-officials-promote-illegal-ivory-a6820036.html

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Although detaining him upon entry to the country is completely ridiculous, I can see how the opposition to dolphin meat is somewhat hypocritical. Cows and chickens and other animals that are eaten for their meat are definitely sentient

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Officials in Taiji, a small town in Wakayama Prefecture, and fishermen have defended the hunt as traditional, saying that eating dolphin meat is no different than eating beef or chicken.

Sensato is right. Google it.

Meat is meat, and we are teh higher species on the planet and in control of what is consumed. It is all cultural people. Shoving one's values down the throat of another is not very nice.

-18 ( +6 / -24 )

he is being detained in a tatami mat holding cell in the B4 level below the Narita airport complex.treated well by kind guards. three meals a day. airconditioned nightmare. others in the cell with him. he will later be deported in handcuffs and put on a plane to the usa. and he can never return to japan ever ever. that is how blacklist works. i was there, been there, done that. 1996. visa overstay. 41 days in detention in solitary cell. blacklisted for life now. same for him.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

So the lesson is that anyone is welcome to come to Japan to spend money, but not to expose Japanese practices that are widely condemned across the world.

but is he really a tourist in japan, or does he have a hidden agenda. if he's here to protest and film the dolphin hunt, then that's not really a touristy thing to do. so why not apply a strict reading of the immigration law and make him apply for a different visa? i know all you tree huggers disagree, but two can play that game.

-19 ( +7 / -26 )

Immigration officials said it is their policy not to comment on individual cases.

How convenient, those are always individual cases ! Arbitrary detention under false pretext and people muzzled like animal, if that is the image Japan wants to show to the world then don't be surprised when some at UN will call you being a medieval country.

6 ( +11 / -4 )

He looks old. Be careful this time officers, don't kill him (accidentally?) !

7 ( +14 / -6 )

blacklisted. pure and simple. japan will soon find itself blacklisted by the international communinity. A black eye for japan. unbelievable! yet why are we not surprised. shame on japan for this soviet style blacklisting.

6 ( +15 / -8 )

Immigration officials said it is their policy not to comment on individual cases.

Mr. Hand: I like that. 'I Don't Know.' That's nice.

[imitating] Mr. Hand: 'Mr. Hand, will I pass this class?' Gee, Mr. Spicoli, I don't know! You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to leave your words right up here for all my classes to enjoy, giving you full credit of course, Mr. Spicoli.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Guessing they thought he would be trying to get media attention while in Japan and thought to stop that - well it worked! (That's sarcasm.)

6 ( +7 / -1 )

immigration officials barred him at the airport Monday and told him he couldn’t enter Japan on a tourist visa because he wasn’t a tourist

I'm sure he's learnt very quickly that there's the "stated" (ie. tatemae) reason, and then the real reason underlying that. Astounding (but increasingly less so) that this kind of conduct is still alive & well in Japan.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

many [Japanese people] say they are horrified by the dolphin killing and have joined the campaign against the Taiji hunt.

The journalist's claim that "many" Japanese people have joined the campaign against the Taiji hunt looks to be nothing more than wishful thinking. Possibly she hopes it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. At this point, it seems to be no more than a handful. Plus, I have never heard even a single Japanese person express negative views of the dolphin hunt, only anger that a documentary was made about it.

Maybe somebody can prove otherwise, but Google searches even in Japanese show only a few Japanese activists. Their numbers in Japan are dwarfed by the number of non-Japanese activists here, even during protest marches in Tokyo.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Putting themselves in a good light for 2020 Olympics, oh wait :P

15 ( +21 / -6 )

'Your post in wrong. He's entering Japan under the visa waiver program. From the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - "Nationals and citizens of those countries and regions shown below are not required to obtain visas to enter Japan when their visits are tourism, commerce, conferences, visiting relatives/ acquaintances, etc.'

Correct. Also, it's not even called a 'tourist visa', it's called a temporary visitor visa and whilst it does cover tourism, it also covers business activities including holding meetings, negotiating contracts, conducting research etc. as long as the person is not employed or being paid wages within Japan. If meeting with business associates and / or negotiating contracts was outside the permissions granted by this visa, then every person visiting Japan on business would be acting illegally.

That's why there's the option to tick a box describing the purpose of your visit to Japan, where one of the options is 'business'.

Therefore it's pretty reasonable to assume that the immigration bureau decided that he's PNG, probably because he's on a government-generated blacklist of people who have spoken out against Japan and there was some element of risk of him stirring up protests or worse during his stay. And the direction of negative press that he would bring. Japan is not alone in doing this, most countries would bar people that bring a risk of disturbing public order and each country has its own definition of what constitutes disturbance of public order. Japan obviously has its own, and it is more than entitled to have it. Japan is well within its rights as a sovereign state to do this, as it is not obliged to let anyone in - it only lets people in at immigration checkpoints, same as anywhere else in the world.

Put it this way, if you were a radical Islamic preacher who bent religious teachings to support your own world view and called for a 'jihad' on the West, then it would not be very surprising if some (or all) European countries and the USA denied you entry. People in your own country may be morally outraged by this, as these teachings could be acceptable there, just as acceptable as stirring up protests against dolphin hunting and supporting militant pirates, sorry, Sea Shepherd. Just because your view may be correct in your country and just because some things may be accepted in your country doesn't mean that they are accepted in Japan. Nor should they be, Japan as a sovereign state has the right to decide what is and what isn't acceptable there and should not be obliged to allow everything that is allowed in the USA or Europe.

23 ( +31 / -9 )

eating dolphin meat is no different than eating beef or chicken

Also no different from eating dog or cat or budgie or elephant or crow. All gross, cruel and unnecessary.

5 ( +17 / -12 )

"He is not entering the country for sightseeing. A tourist visa is for tourism and vacation. He is entering the country for purposes of his work. He is planning to consult with business associates and or negotiate a contract. In such circumstances a tourist visa is not an appropriate description of his activities while in the country."

Your post in wrong. He's entering Japan under the visa waiver program. From the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - "Nationals and citizens of those countries and regions shown below are not required to obtain visas to enter Japan when their visits are tourism, commerce, conferences, visiting relatives/ acquaintances, etc.

27 ( +34 / -7 )

"Takano said O’Barry’s treatment sent a negative message about Japan."

Japan at it again! No different than China or North Korea.

10 ( +23 / -13 )

He is not entering the country for sightseeing. A tourist visa is for tourism and vacation. He is entering the country for purposes of his work. He is planning to consult with business associates and or negotiate a contract. In such circumstances a tourist visa is not an appropriate description of his activities while in the country.

-6 ( +19 / -25 )

Japan surely doesn't allow " critical views" and voicing out own opinions that sounds derogatory about the country. There's no free speech here. "Heiwa bokke"....sorry, don't know how to translate that in English...

16 ( +21 / -6 )

How does Rick O'Barry feel about the US Navy training dolphins to carry explosives to enemy ships?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So the lesson is that anyone is welcome to come to Japan to spend money, but not to expose Japanese practices that are widely condemned across the world. There's nothing morally bankrupt about that.

19 ( +30 / -11 )

eating dolphin meat is no different than eating beef or chicken.

Some people consider dolphins and whales, among other animals, as more of sentient beings than cows or chicken. There's where they draw the line on whether they should be food (or other uses) for humans.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

eating dolphin meat is no different than eating beef or chicken.

Eating dolphin meat doesn't sound appetizing. And the manner in which they're slaughtered is just so wrong.

No wonder the authorities are giving him the boot. This only further incriminates the "dolphin hunts." Says it all:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbie3DnAkd8

17 ( +23 / -6 )

He should get a Japanese wife. That might solve his entry issues.

-17 ( +8 / -25 )

“It seems to show Japan does not allow critical views,” he said.

Now that's an understatement.

43 ( +47 / -5 )

he couldn’t enter Japan on a tourist visa because he wasn’t a tourist

If you deem him a PNG, just say so.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

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