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U.S. activist barred from Taiji Whale Museum files suit

70 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

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"O’Barry said he was determined to take the white bottlenose he calls Angel to a more natural habitat, such as a sanctuary."

So...he was there to steal the Aquarium's dolphin? Why should they let him in at all? This isn't peaceful activism, it's a classic example of breaking laws because of a personal belief. They should have let him in and commit a crime so next time he won't get through immigration.

3 ( +23 / -20 )

O’Barry said he was determined to take the white bottlenose he calls Angel to a more natural habitat, such as a sanctuary.

That's the reason why you were denied entry. You're a disturbance to other people who come to see the dolphins, not because you're a foreigner.

Go back to America, and picket in front of Seaworld. Japan doesn't need foreign activists treating them like children or trying to enforce western values on them.

13 ( +30 / -17 )

Discrimination in Japan? That don't exist here, good lucky!

-9 ( +15 / -23 )

Right of admission?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

It's time Japan learned to play nice with its neighbors and become part of the international community. Or presume it's rightful place as a footnote in the annals of history, as an island of a stubborn, racist and backward little people.

-18 ( +17 / -35 )

One day in the future, Japan too will learn that there is more to these magnificent creatures than they see. That day is not even close, but someday, I believe it will happen. Today, they believe these creatures don't feel anything. They just swim stupidly, like tuna. They don't want to believe that fact that these animals are smarter and friendlier than man's best friend. Some Japanese dislike Korea because how they treat (eat) dogs. In reality, they are commiting even bigger crime against intelligence by slashing dolphins to death, and serving their meat in dolphin museum. Just about anyone from other developed country knows, this is barbaric. They don't, yet.

-12 ( +12 / -24 )

He has about as much chance of winning this lawsuit as he does of landing on Jupiter.

14 ( +21 / -8 )

Good for Mr. O'Barry for keeping this issue in the public eye! It's a crime to imprison these free-roaming mammals from their family and ocean territory. And why? For "entertainment"? People should refuse to come see them and then the financial incentive will evaporate. I find it medieval and disgraceful that the museum prohibits all Western-looking people. Is that even possible? I'm going to go there this summer just to see. Ossan and MGigante, sorry, I won't be causing an unseemly ruckus (not my style), but I will Facebook the heck out of it for the world to see!

-11 ( +14 / -25 )

Yeah not really news. Every other business in the states would do the same thing if they knew a person was going to start disrupting everything once allowed access.

16 ( +22 / -6 )

I wonder if it's discrimination since they KNOW he will cause a problem. I would think that if the aquarium denies admission to any and all foreigners, that they are practicing discrimination but denying this guy can't be considered that since he even admits that he intends to cause problems for the aquarium. I'm not a fan of the dolphin hunt, but I think he should be focusing his energy on problems back in his home country. Fix the problems there first.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

He's there to cause a problem so they refuse him entry.

Then he launches a suit, taking up valuable court time (costing our tax dollars) for what he must know is a lost case but it'll be publicity.

meh.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

who want to check on a baby albino dolphin it has in captivity.

Captivity? That is what zoos and aquariums are for.

an American activist who says denying him entry is discriminatory.

He became an activist by his own choosing. One does not become a black, a female, or an ethnic minority for his own choosing but by birth. So, discrimination based on race, sex, or ethnicity is strictly prohibited. But denying access to certain places based on what the person chose may be not so clear.

If a church restrict access to certain places in the church only to believers, is it discrimination against people who believe in other religion?

Of course, he will be admitted to the aquarium if he stops being an activist against the aquarium. It is his choice.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

"When asked what happened to its parents, Kirihata said: “We don’t know for sure. They may have become meat."

So he'll probably claim the aquarium did this baby a favor after Taiji was responsible for killing it's mother and father.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

So, discrimination based on race, sex, or ethnicity is strictly prohibited

in japan?? c'mon, i dont think many people in japan care that this happens to foreigners on a regular basis and its certainly not strictly prohibited.

If a church restrict access to certain places in the church only to believers, is it discrimination against people who believe in other religion?

thats pretty much the definition of discrimination.

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

This guy was not denied admission based on his race or foreign status. He was denied because he was identified as being an anti-dolphin hunt activist, and the aquarium wanted to protect itself from any potential untoward behavior. He shouldn't have blithely charged "racial discrimination." Doing so trivializes and mocks decades of real efforts by many groups to combat true racial inequality around the world.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

I would recommend that some of the posters who are criticizing Ric O'Barry's activism watch his documentary, 'The Cove'. The real life camera footage of Taiji's annual dolphin slaughter was one of the most shocking, sickening, and barbaric things I have ever seen. While I agree that his lawsuit may be fruitless, he is obviously trying to keep attention on his and other activists' noble efforts of stopping the unnecessary and senseless annual slaughter of hundreds of dolphins and whales, whose meat is then sold off cheaply or left to rot in warehouses. I, for one, applaud his efforts, and wish him every success in whatever measures he takes to try to stop these heinous acts.

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

I think he is protecting his meal-ticket, more than anything. ;)

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Some day, I hope the Japan that I love will abandon such practices as the slaughter of dolphins and whales.

The world will be a better place, and Japan will be respected and admired.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Right now the anti-activists got the upper hand in the comments section. Last dolphin article, I got criticized for criticizing the activists and got 20 thumbs down.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

“Hundreds of thousands of dolphins have died there, in the most brutal way imaginable. Angel is the symbol of all of that. That is why she is so important.”

Sounds delusional, a white dolphin in an aquarium isn't symbolic of that at all. It's just an unusual dolphin.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Even a store has a right to choose its customers.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

I'd rather choose saving over killing, preserving over destroying, love over hate. But that's just me.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

@Patricia, just curious if you protest and boycott every circus and every zoo.

13 ( +14 / -2 )

So where exactly does this article mention he will steal the dolphin or disturb, disrupt, or cause a problem? He simply states he wants to "monitor" the dolphin, nothing more.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Let him in, but by all means, arrest him if he causes public disturbance. I'm against the dolphin massacre in Taiji too, but there's a right time and place for everything. Makes sense for the aquarium to ban those activists. I'm not saying I agree with it, but considering it's private property, they have the right to refuse entry.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

"Let him in, but by all means, arrest him if he causes public disturbance. I'm against the dolphin massacre in Taiji too, but there's a right time and place for everything. Makes sense for the aquarium to ban those activists. I'm not saying I agree with it, but considering it's private property, they have the right to refuse entry."

It isn't private property, it's a public museum. Also Japan has free speech laws. Anyone remember those annoying black uyoku dantai vans?

2 ( +8 / -6 )

"He's there to cause a problem so they refuse him entry."

Just different opinion I guess. I see it as he's there to solve the problem. The problem of primitive beings treating magnificent beings violently. I respect his opinion, because it's informed one. He's one knows more about these creatures than most all people, being around them his whole life.

People he is going against are people who make money out of these creatures. Like all business owners, their primary objective is to keep their profits high. They are not there to protect life, or be concerned about their well being. Just know these facts when chosing sides.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

@paul, it does say that he's determined to take the dolphin to a more natural habitat. It's the paragraph right above the one you quoted. For what he means by that is anybodys guess.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

We just politely refuse those kinds of people...

And again, Japan show it has a long way to go towards becoming a modern society. Both in its treatment of animals but also how it treats people. I don't suppose local, Japanese activists would be refused entry with such a ridiculous, racist explananation. Ric O' Barry is doing the right thing, putting the spotlight on Taiji.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

@Knox

What's racist about refusing entry to anyone who actively and voiciferously opposes your business?

Not that I agree with the slaughter, or the idea of aquariums.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

"Not that I agree with the slaughter, or the idea of aquariums."

Conflicing statement I thinks. How can you disagree with idea of aquariums and still think their business should be protected against activist?

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

In a 'normal' country he would win his case, but Japan is well known for its racial discrimination and prejudices. I can still find many restaurants in Tokyo that won't allow foreigners to enter.

-12 ( +6 / -17 )

@Damien

I don't. I'm just arguing against the idea that there's any element of racism on display here.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

"arguing against the idea that there's any element of racism on display here"

I think it's not the racism he's defending against, but just descrimination. If I decide to visit the museum, what criteria they have to judge if I'm an activist or simple tourist? Depending on how rebellious I look to them that day, they may decide to let me in or not. This is discrimination, and with no good criteria. Ric knows better than making a mess. He's dealed with enough police and yakuza fisherman in his life and knows he'll be detained if he disobey laws.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Wait, they exhibit dolphins and also 'sell' their meat!?

Look mama, dolphins are so cute! Yes son, now let's get some for dinner.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Lets. i get your disgust, but not much different to going to an aquarium and then a fish supper or a petting zoo and then a Macdonalds.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Wakarimasen,

Those things don't usually happen outside of Japan. Has anyone here went to aquarium and felt like having a fish supper afterwards? Japan is the only country that children (and sometimes adults) saying "Oishisoo" when looking at the fish in Aquariums.

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

Right now the anti-activists got the upper hand in the comments section. Last dolphin article, I got criticized for criticizing the activists and got 20 thumbs down.

If the title doesn't contain the words "sea shepherd" or "paul watson" then the comments section is a much more realistic indication of public perception. Any story about the above mentioned brings out the paid key punchers by the dozens.

Mr O'Barry should go home. He's not welcome here.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Ric O'Barry was a somebody in the 60's and now he's just trying to draw attention to himself. His filing of a lawsuit doesn't mean he has a legitimate legal case and definitely doesn't mean he could win it. According to a March 14, 2014 article O'Barry wrote for One Green Planet, O'Barry disguised himself as a Japanese tourist (straw hat, sunglasses, surgical mask over his nose and mouth, and turned up coat collar - they published a photo of O'Barry in disguise) to enter the museum. Nothing very suspicious about that action -rolleyes- .

O'Barry isn't welcome and O'Barry doesn't have a case.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

ha ha, private property, they can deny entry as they see fit. Get lost Ric

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Yes Mr. O' Barry, get lost, you are not wanted here. Because what we want on this island is is more dolphins in fish tanks, more of them jumping through hoops, more of them on the dinner plate, less of them in the sea, more TRADITION!

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

No case. If it was a hotel, ryokan or minshoku, he'd have a case (if they'd had an empty room). It is legal for a landlord to deny a potential non-Japanese tenant here, so sorry, there is no inherent necessity to gain access to a place of entertainment.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Damien15,

I'd rather choose saving over killing, preserving over destroying, love over hate.

I choose peace and mutual tolerance over hate and bigotry. People should keep their conflicts about food to their own neighborhood, rather than go all missionary on minority cultures.

I respect his opinion, because it's informed one

... yeah, that and the fact that you seem to have the same opinion. If anyone knows about dolphins I reckon it's the folks in that town. They should be left in peace.

They are not there to protect life

Go visit them once you figure out how to farm meat on trees or something.

How can you disagree with idea of aquariums and still think their business should be protected against activist?

See above, peace and mutual tolerance.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

@wakarimasen Respectfully, a good many aquariums serve fish. Actually went to Disney World with the wife and, after doing the Living Seas attraction, went to the seafood restaurant attached to it. Has windows to see into the main tank and all while you chow down on shrimp or catfish.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Fxgai

" If anyone knows about dolphins I reckon it's the folks in that town. They should be left in peace."

They don't though. not interested learning either. Intelligent lives are being tortured for profit. I guess one can't really know it unless same happens to them. Seperated from their families, slashed to death. They don't deserve this and there can't be any mutual understanding as long as careless torture continues.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Wakarimasen, apologies, that comment was meant for damien.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

To deny someone entry into a country just because you don't like what he is doing (he did not commit any crime in Japan) is just extremely stupid from Japan. It could happen in a country like China or Iran but should not happen in a modern democratic society. If he would commit a crime of course they could punish him. Hunting Dolphins is not a tradition in Taiji at all. They started doing this in the late 60s. And nowadays less and less people are eating dolphin meat so the main reason for doing this is for capturing and selling dolphins to aquariums mostly in Asia for a high profit. No tradition just money. The EU does not allow this trade anymore. Also the fishermen of Taiji are killing them in an extreme cruel way by driving a needle into their spine. It could take minutes till they finally die. They kill them because Dolphins are a competition for them. Like one Dolphin eats about 30kg of fish every day. So here you go. Japan does not realize that they loose a lot of sympathy world wide especially in the US, Australia and Europe. Countries which are very important for them. Both sides can not win this, they should try to find a compromise. Ric O’Barry is not like Sea Shepherd, he distances himself from them. He is working together with japanese groups. He is someone you can work with. But Japan's stance in this is very stubborn and childish.

-10 ( +7 / -17 )

Zachcial.

Reread the article before, ditto for a few other posters.

Japan has NEVER refused entry to O'Barry, Cove Guardian (Sea Shepherd), etc. It is one Museum that is not allowing activists to enter, incl Japanese ones.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Don't know much about Dolphins but sure this guy is come to make a fast buck. Please clean your backyard before pointing fingers. Lets not go back to the old cliche about "Empty vessels make the most noise". Amen

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Zachical,

While "It's me" have a point, all other information you've provided are spot on. Only reason for Japanese Fisheries Agency to allow fisherman to kill 1000's of dolphins each year is because they are eating the fish that fisherman are after. They think of dolpohins as pests.

In reality, it's their fish. They have been here much longer than humans, to them, we are the pests. And Taiji fisherman are driving around with luxury cars, but still killing dolphins for the fish they eat. Anyone defending their actions are as guilty as they are.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Kyoko,

Aborted children are much better off than these dolphins. At least they are not being slashed and left to die a slow death. Sometimes I wish I were aborted and didn't see the violence humans are capable of inflicting innocent intelligent beings. And to themselves.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

So...he was there to steal the Aquarium's dolphin?

I did not read anything about a truck and a crew. How was he going to steal it?

I did not read anything about weapons or any other dangerous items. Just what sort of a disturbance were they worried about?

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

O’Barry along with other activists have been barred to protect the safety and welfare of visitors, the aquarium's staff and marine mammals. Taiji Whale Museum is public environment, O’Barry & co are anti-hunt activists who have little respect or obedience for local laws or customs.

Lawsuits and all the subsequent publicity give the likes of Ric O’Barry a platform. The 'Western-looking people' angle I find particularly irritating.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

OssanAmerica:

" So...he was there to steal the Aquarium's dolphin? Why should they let him in at all? - See more at: http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/u-s-activist-barred-from-taiji-whale-museum-files-suit#sthash.CvcZs2w8.dpuf "

He was not there to "steal" the dolphing. That is absurd. Did you read the article at all? He was there take a look at it. He is advocating removing the dolphin from that place, but "stealing"? How do you come up with that? How do do "steal" dolphin anyway, put it in your backpack??

You can be be for dolphin hunting or against it, but to deny him entry simply because they don´t like his opinion is not justifiable.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Ric O’Barry along with Earth Island Institute are defending two 2013 Florida lawsuits for defamation and illegal interference with legitimate business activity. Taiji Whale Museum has to be aware of litigation underway in the US which will define the legality of tactics EII and other activist groups are deploying.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I was there in 2005. I did get the feeling I was being watched. Neat place. Once is enough.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

was wondering what he was doing since the residuals for the show ran out

2 ( +4 / -2 )

So where exactly does this article mention he will steal the dolphin or disturb, disrupt, or cause a problem?

For paul and others who are only reading what they want to read - the article states that this nutcase is "determined to take the white bottlenose he calls Angel to a more natural habitat". The verb there is take. Not buy. Its not a great leap in logic to assume that he wants to remove the dolphin using aggressive tactics. Or maybe he will just chain himself to the tank and threaten violence like other eco "warriors" do? The guy is so loony that he has taken to calling the creature "Angel".

Sometimes I wish I were aborted and didn't see the violence humans are capable of inflicting innocent intelligent beings.

What a disgusting thing to say. Its comments like this that just turn sane people off of the whole eco movement. You really need to grow some perspective. I hope your parents never read what you just wrote.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

He simply states he wants to "monitor" the dolphin, nothing more.

What right does he have? Absolutely none! He is not on staff there. I can't believe that so many of the people on this thread advocate that a person who has nothing to do with a business barge in there and interfere.

"O’Barry said he was determined to take the white bottlenose he calls Angel to a more natural habitat, such as a sanctuary."

That sounds like more than monitoring...

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Went there also about 15 years ago. I had no problem getting in and nobody watched me at all as far as I know. (This was just after Sea Shepherd started their nonsense and I went to Taiji out of curiosity. Apparently there were 2 deadbeats staying at a local caravan park at the time)

So my guess is that they are had their fill with Sea Shepherd and have a blanket ban, or this guy was acting like a looney from the start.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

NavyCDRMay. 16, 2014 - 10:01AM JST Some day, I hope the Japan that I love will abandon such practices as the slaughter of dolphins and whales. The world will be a better place, and Japan will be respected and admired.

Yes. Why kill something that can be trained as a weapon.

US Navy to deploy combat dolphins for Black Sea military drills – report http://rt.com/news/us-dolphins-black-sea-896/

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It's not racist to deny him entry if he's there to disrupt their operation. As they said, they welcome any 'actual' visitors.

Has anyone here went to aquarium and felt like having a fish supper afterwards?

Back home in Houston there's a restaurant inside an aquarium. I guess that would make your blood

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Ossan's first comment says it all.... but IMHO, I think they should just let him in. He's harmless. If he does do something to disturb other guests, boot him out!

Damien15May. 16, 2014 - 10:16AM JST

I'd rather choose saving over killing, preserving over destroying, love over hate. But that's just me.

...ahhhh, if only the world were so simple! If you choose saving and preserving, then you would probably starve to death, no?

Japan is the only country that children (and sometimes adults) saying "Oishisoo" when looking at the fish in Aquariums

What a belligerent comment. I see nothing wrong with kids looking at fish as food in a country surrounded by ocean. Besides, according to you, fish are different from dolphins right? Are you defending fish now too?

In reality, they are commiting even bigger crime against intelligence by slashing dolphins to death

If they're so intelligent, then why do they keep coming back to the same place every year in the thousands?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

O’Barry said he was determined to take the white bottlenose he calls Angel to a more natural habitat, such as a sanctuary.

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Sounds to me he planned to steal the dolphin. Attempted robbery? Attempted cruelty to Dolphin as Dolphin will have to stay without water? Is there specific anti-discrimination laws in Japan???? Shriimps and lobsters: Crabs. Instead of going to zoos, etc. they become food. Maybe he should protest fish eating people in USA. Well, I forgot. Unlike this museum, when captured by gun toting cops in USA. attempted robbery will carry heavy sentence. NAACP will not support his discrimination claim.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

WilliBMay. 16, 2014 - 05:42PM JST You can be be for dolphin hunting or against it, but to deny him entry simply because they don´t like his opinion is not >justifiable

They didn't deny him entry because they didn't like his opinions. They denied it because of his openly declared intent to carry out actions that would obstruct and interfere with the Aquarium's operation. If my "personal opinion" was that people weren't meant to fly and I declared an intent to obstruct and interfere with the operations of an airport, do you think they would let me in?

.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

danakoMay. 16, 2014 - 10:18AM JST

@Patricia, just curious if you protest and boycott every circus and every zoo. ........... ...danakoMay, that's a bit hyperbolic. I think imprisoning dolphins and whales is cruel and should not be done. I do not visit aquariums that have them, but more importantly, O'Barry and other defenders of the whales are on the right side. Dolphins and whales are social, sea-roaming mammals and we should enjoy them in their natural environment, not penned up or on a dinner plate.

ProWhalingTrolls, de-thumb me all you want. Doesn't change a thing.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

His American laws do not apply in Japan.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Yes Japan is Japan please and thank you.

Osan-san said it all in the first post:

OssanAmericaMay. 16, 2014 - 07:29AM JST

"O’Barry said he was determined to take the white bottlenose he calls Angel to a more natural habitat, such as a sanctuary."

So...he was there to steal the Aquarium's dolphin? Why should they let him in at all? This isn't peaceful activism, it's a classic example of breaking laws because of a personal belief. They should have let him in and commit a crime so next time he won't get through immigration.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I grew up in a region of the world that permitted the capture of "killer whales or orcas" for sale to aquariums, but that stopped in the mid-1970s because public option through continued education, understood keeping orcas in captivity was cruel to the animal. Now public opinion is so much against this and aquariums are being closed. There are now laws that are starting to protect these animals from being slaves in various countries

Rather than invest energy and resources into a "law suit" , wouldn't it be more effective in the long run to change public opinion about cruelty to animals - no matter what kind of animal - through education?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@OssanAmerica

Somehow I doubt O'Barry was going to try and walk out with a baby albino dolphin under his coat.

I don't suppose this case is about "winning", nor even raising racial discrimination issues ... if that is what he is doing ... but just keep the issue (and himself) in the public eye; and being a bit of a pain in the ass reminder.

There is a strange disconnect going on in Taiji. Come Summer time they have kids swimming in what is basically a slaughterhouse the rest of the year. The Japanese tourists go there to "love" dolphins whose families have been slaughtered and turned into meat at a ratio of about 100 to 1.

Legally, there's a risk that if O'Barry is playing the race card, and is doing so insincerely in this case, that it might go against other genuine cases.

As he has been largely unsuccessful in any campaign, sometimes I wonder if it is about him or the dolphins and wish there was more financial accountability in these campaigns.

I mean, how much money has gone where and on what apart from creating a circus for the media. The idiot racists from Sea Shepherd being 10 times worse.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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