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Taiji meeting on dolphin hunt set for Nov 2; public to be barred

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Probably they claim eating cattles is their western culture and it is OK. I don't see pictures of slaughtering cattles. They may be very cruel scenes too.

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Of COURSE the public will be barred... after all, the Mayor has said time and time again, "They have nothing to hide in Taiji" (from infront of the massive tarps). Oh wait... that's kind of the opposite, I guess.

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It's useless to persuade those sturbbon Japanese fishermen.

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Meaning no foreigners except paid guests allowed. Unless you have something positive to say, shut up.

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How very Japan,no public invovlement.

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Why do they even meet these people? There is civilisation for you.

I am not sufficiently civilised that if a dolphin hunter came to my abbatoir (or vice-versa) I would give him the time of day.

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Unless you have something positive to say, shut up.... Wait, this isn't just about this topic, but all topics in Japan.

Well, that's not very nice! Not all comments are going to be positive, especially on topics like this. If everyone could make comments about a negative or positive feeling in a peaceful and respectful manner, that would be fantastic. That is asking a lot, though...Hopefully that's how the people involved in this will communicate with each other...

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Public hearing to a discussion always degrade with agitation from either side stopping the flow of discussion making any further discussion impossible. They are going to allow the media to sit in and probably any and all dialogs done within the discussion available.

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I love the way that JT highlights that the public will be barred from this discussion. Because that's the main part isn't it? It's not that they are prepared to have a discussion with the environmentalists in front of the (world's?) media. It's the fact that Joe Public isn't allowed to air his or her views on the matter.

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The participants in this meeting can each ask 3 questions. If you were to attend, regardless of which side you stand on - if any - what questions would you ask? Here's three of the top of my head.

Are the officials of Taiji prepared to allow independent testing of its citizens for mercury and other poisoning and its effects? This testing would be paid for in full by (insert environmental group name). If not, why not?

What is the breakdown in revenue received by the Taiji fishermen/Isana Union, the Taiji Whale Museum and Taiji town related to the small-cetacean hunt in 2009? (to include live capture, the sale of meat, and any funding from local or national government)

Would Taiji officials be prepared to cooperate in a feasibility study, funded by (insert environmental group name), of alternatives sources of revenue for the town, its fishermen and those working in related businesses?
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The film portrayed the story of fishermen from Taiji who herd dolphins into a cove and stab them to death, turning the waters red with blood.

oh no...and now they are luring the anti-hunting activists into the cove. I hope they don't end up like the dolphins!

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Heda_Madness: "I love the way that JT highlights that the public will be barred from this discussion. Because that's the main part isn't it?"

That IS one of the main points of contention, if not THE main point. How constructive will the meeting be if no one is allowed to voice alternative opinions? The public has been barred, and that's a fact, so how else should they phrase it? "Taiji Meeting To Show the World About Doplhin Hunting With Nothing to Hide: Public EXEMPT from Attending"?

"It's the fact that Joe Public isn't allowed to air his or her views on the matter."

The people of Taiji depend on Joe Public to sell their product (well, okay, not the people who don't consume dolphin/whale), even indirectly forcing it on school children, but they don't welcome their input?

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It's a better move that the activists get a chance to express their opinion. As a Japanese, I hope they will never break the fishermen's property, which they did while they were making "The Cove." Also, they should visit just one of the monuments which Japanese built to mourn whales and dolphins.

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Suggestions for questions anyone? I'll be able to pass them on to the participants for their consideration (seemingly the deadline for submissions has passed but I doubt this meeting will be as structured as they hope). The public may not be allowed access to the meeting but our tax yen are involved here so we all have a stake.

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Does anyone know whether foreign media will be allowed to cover the meeting, or is this another Japanese media event, cranking out messages that the Japanese public are expected to want to hear? How much control will the kisha clubs have here? The organizers saying it'll be "open to the media" isn't very clear. Also, Sea Shepherd's Scott West initially said last week on their blog that the meeting was to be just between him and the Taiji mayor, so evidently it's expanded since then (supporting NagoyaOya's comment about the meeting not being as structured as hoped). I'd like to think that's a good point.

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Also, they should visit just one of the monuments which Japanese built to mourn whales and dolphins.

Why? Will looking at a monument make them think it's OK to use barbaric slaughter methods? Making a show of mourning a death and then continuing to kill is simply hypocritical.

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How constructive will the meeting be if no one is allowed to voice alternative opinions?

Best tell those that are against the hunt and will be going (the likes of Ric O'Barry) that they are wasting their time then.

Taiji meeting on dolphin hunt set for Nov 2

Should be the headline because that is the story. Simple.

In my opinion, JT has phrased it this way, to ensure that they can get maximum negative posts.

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Typical Japan! Politicians like to keep things behind closed doors so the public can be kept from the ugly truth and spoon-fed the "official story" later!

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Why? Will looking at a monument make them think it's OK to use barbaric slaughter methods? Making a show of mourning a death and then continuing to kill is simply hypocritical.

Nitpick:

Not necessarily. Many peoples have had ritualized hunting routines -you could argue it's hypocritical; but I don't think anthropologists would agree. So it's not "simply" hypocritical. It can be, maybe it is in the Taiji case, but not out of necessity.

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A 'ritualised hunting routine' is fine. If they went out in their boats, banged the water with their metal poles to ritually simulate the hunt then came home and had a booze-up or a cuppa tea while they reminisced over old times, that would be fine. Erecting a monument to show how they mourn the deaths of the whales or dolphins would also be fine, if they also showed their sorrow was real by not hacking any more whales and dolphins to death. But to make a show of 'mourning' while continuing to fill the cove with blood is just meaningless.

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Scott West of the Sea Shepherd eco-terrorist group

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the government should just license sport hunting of whales and dolphins. when there's profit in them, then they will thrive.

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"The participants in this meeting can each ask 3 questions. If you were to attend, regardless of which side you stand on - if any - what questions would you ask? Here's three of the top of my head. Are the officials of Taiji prepared to allow independent testing of its citizens for mercury and other poisoning and its effects? This testing would be paid for in full by (insert environmental group name). If not, why not? What is the breakdown in revenue received by the Taiji fishermen/Isana Union, the Taiji Whale Museum and Taiji town related to the small-cetacean hunt in 2009? (to include live capture, the sale of meat, and any funding from local or national government) Would Taiji officials be prepared to cooperate in a feasibility study, funded by (insert environmental group name), of alternatives sources of revenue for the town, its fishermen and those working in related businesses?"

Those are intersting questions. thanks for those NagoyaOya

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I love dolphins and don't want to see them being slaughtered like that, but point is Taji fishermen hunting dolphins threatening the survival of that species? If not, why not let them continue their annual ritual by just encouraging them making it less "bloody"?

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I think this is a good start. I think it is wise for the meeting to be closed as it is the first meeting. Such a meeting is meant only to try to understand each other's perspective, not to come to a resolution. If the public attend I think that it will be difficult to speak without getting shouted down. Personally I don't see the need for the media to attend, and in fact it leads me to believe that the intent is simply to show a willingness to listen on the part of the town rather than a willingness to change. If they were willing to change then they could delay inclusion of the media until there was some resolution pending.

Having said all that I don't think meetings will lead to the end of dolphin/whale hunting. The easiest way to stop the hunt is to convince people to stop buying the meat. Activists are using techniques that work well in the west, but I fear that it will be completely ineffective in Japan. It may even end up increasing consumption based on the Streisand effect. Activists need to be much more aware of Japanese culture and how change happens in Japan. Right now they are trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

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@mikechar: "Activists are using techniques that work well in the west, but I fear that it will be completely ineffective in Japan <...> Activists need to be much more aware of Japanese culture and how change happens in Japan. Right now they are trying to fit a square peg in a round hole."

I do agree with you on that!

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cleo: Ditto. Just utterly meaningless yet somehow they think this will appease the rest of us.

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Jeeze this isn't the first time in history that a meeting has been barred from public view. Meetings of grand scales happen all the time in private. It's open to the media but not the general public. Again all for some bottlenose dolphins which are NOT endangered.

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timtak - you have asked about a thousand questions. It would take us until next year to answer them all. Oyasumi.

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Another question for the meeting: Are comparisons between the different way in which food protein is obtained relevant to this debate?

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BurakuminDes I'd agree with you if you mean to suggest that there are coherent ways of responding to all the points that I raised. I think that that I could even debate either side of the argument, though as you point out it would take quite a lot of time to do so. Alas however, it seems to me that such debate does not take place, not only because there is insufficient time, but because the arguments that the fishermen might put forward are deemed irrelevant and or suppressed. This strikes me as being the saddest part of the situation: the one-sided representation of, or suprresion of, the debate, at least in anglophone media, regarding the 'bloody' hunt at Taji. The public, their voice, is indeed, 'barred'.

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Fair enough TimTak. I don't think there will be much - if any - real "debate" going on there though. Looks like just being a controlled pantomine.

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Yes...Well, I live in hope that the public comment regarding Taji, will not be barred in the future. Oyasumi.

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This will turn into the anti activists insisting the town changes to suit them. Since the dolphins are not endangered I see no reason to stop the hunt only on the basis that the killing is "barbaric". Get a better hobby and stop playing with people's income source. Outsiders that put their noses in others business really pees me off.

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@stevecpfc Its ALL about the money.99% of the world who know about it and maybe 99.9% want this stopped.So they should stop. End of story. There is almost no money in the dolphin meat. About $1000 per dolphin.So without live capture there would be no industry.But live ones are worth $67,000 each. I reckon the best way to fix it is a massive protest and boycott of the airline that is transporting them to China, America (one went to a Sea World in the US this week)etc

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"Both sides will present their views at the meeting, which will be open to the media but not the general public, organizer Atsushi Nakahira said Wednesday."

And of course we know whose pocket the media are in, and totally fearful of the right-wing nuts.

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