Ira Globert comments

Posted in: Global protests held against Japan's dolphin hunt See in context

@Nicky Washida: Thank you for taking the time to express your differentiated evaluation and opinion on this.

May I humbly suggest (..) that in addition to the (peaceful please!) protests to gain publicity that you start to highlight areas like Miyakejima who are treating their dolphins with love and respect and becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination for dolphin watching.

One his way to Taiji, Ric O'Barry stopped at the island of Miyakejima for a look at how dolphins can be spared and used for tourism. He had only praise for that small island which doesn't hunt dolphins, but respects them and thrives on snorkeling with them, and he stated that "we support them all the way".

I fully agree with Mr. O'Barry. Events like this are being reported and quickly shared worldwide through the media and via platforms like Facebook and Twitter etc. Just going by the countless positive comments you can read e.g. on Facebook, many people all over the word appreciate and highly value ANY effort of Japanese locations which turn to whale-/ dolphin- watching and to alternative forms of tourism which are kind/er to animal life. Mr. Atsuta (official with the tourism agency at Miyakejima) expressed his hope that more people from abroad would visit Miyakejima. I am sure this WILL be the case. However, you have mentioned the aspect of the "Japanese way of thinking", and I thank you for mentioning that again. It reminds me of the fact that also us "average people" (who don't have the media's attention like e.g. Mr. O'Barry ) actually do have plenty of opportunities to publicly praise, encourage and support positive changes which do take place in Japan. Not everybody will have the (financial) option to travel to e.g. Miyakejima himself. But one may recommend such locations to others who plan a trip to Japan - and it's always possible to express one's personal appreciation to the local "changers" in Japan via internet or media (comments) as well. In my limited personal area of influence, I shall mention and remind others of these opportunities more often in future.

Please dont misunderstand - there are many wonderful things about Japan and many wonderful people too. (..) We have issues here like anywhere else, but in many ways this IS a great place with lovely people.

I fully agree with you. I am aware that there are also some activists who tend to generalize and cannot/ don't want to differ between the actual "issue" and the population of an entire country (just as there are Japanese people who don't differ when it comes to peaceful supporters of this cause and of the protests on the one side, and supposedly "anti-Japanese propaganda" on the other) . Naturally I can only speak for myself regarding this matter, and I can only refer to the (naturally limited) number of people I know personally or through the worldwide online activists' connections. Everybody I know has a high interest in/ respect for Japan and the Japanese people and culture - as far as a "Westerner" can understand it, anyway :) Nobody I know would hold any negative thoughts against the whole country of Japan or against its population, or wish them anything "bad".. quite the contrary ! Many of the people who actively express their protest against the dolphin slaughters in Taiji have ALSO put very much of their time and energy into raising (financial) support for Japan(ese) after the tsunami/ earthquake tragedy and its consequences. As much as it is possible at all from a far-away location: Our hearts, solidarity and support went out to the Japanese people, and many tears have been shed all over the world when we witnessed the pictures of what Japan had to deal with... tears also shed by people who are against the dolphin slaughters. Therefore it somewhat saddens me to read some of the very negative comments on this page... from BOTH ends.

and I admire your passion for this issue, especially given that it is so far away from where I guess is home for most of you.

I live in Germany, the peaceful protests again took/ take place here as well as in many other countries in Europe, in Africa, North- and South America, the Carribean, Australia / New Zealand, the Philippines.. And no - the protest activities are not "all organized by some fanatic anti-Japanese groups and organizations", as some of the comments here indicate :) There are so many individuals who did their own little thing on Dolphins Day and who will continue their activities. Some of them do it all by themselves or with only a handful of friends. Just average people ...housewifes, school children, teenagers, pensioners... many of them have never been "publicly active" , have never before in their life been on the streets holding up a sign. It's good people, decent people - all having their lifes, their jobs, their families. All united by their mutual concern - and each just trying to do THEIR little share to raise awareness and hopefully witness the end of the dolphin slaughters.

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Posted in: Global protests held against Japan's dolphin hunt See in context

Most of all Japanese people who are living in these famous fishing Cities love to eat dolphin & whale meat as our soul-food. And Japan well-known nation as a country where many people live to an advanced age than other countries. Therefore mercury issues from the meat the protesters have insisted above cannot prove the our long life & health maintenance at all.-

Even low levels of mercury profoundly disrupt the blood- brain barrier and increase the presence of inflammatory reactivity in the brain. The Japanese government health safe standards for mercury are 0.4 ppm (parts per million of mercury).

In 2010, the Japanese National Institute for Minimata Disease tested over 1100 hair samples from Taiji residents for mercury. The average amount of methyl mercury found in the hair samples was 11.0 ppm for men/ 6.63 ppm for women....compared with an average of 2.47 ppm for men/ 1.64 ppm for women in tests conducted in 14 other locations in Japan. Again: The Japanese government health safe standards for mercury are 0.4 ppm.

Japan's National Institute of Population and Social Security Research reported that the mortality rate for Taiji and nearby Koazagawa, where dolphin meat is also consumed, is over 50% higher than the rate for similarly-sized villages throughout Japan.

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Posted in: Global protests held against Japan's dolphin hunt See in context

When somebody says: So what ? It's only dolphins, no big deal. Animals really don't mean much to me, so I don't have a problem with such brutal slaughters...- that's hard for me to comprehend, and I do not agree with such attitude at all. But I can still acknowledge and deal with it.

However, it's hard to understand people who seem to not even care about fellow human beings either ! How can you NOT care about your own population eating toxic meat ?

As far as the toxic level of mercury in dolphin meat is concerned, you don't have to rely on the test results and studies of "Western" people or activists. For example, Dr. Tetsuyo Endo, a researcher at the University of Hokkaido who studied the brains of deceased Minamata mercury poisoning victims, has published numerous studies showing dolphin meat sold to the public often exceeds the Japanese government health standards of 0.4 ppm (parts per million of mercury). The highest level Dr. Endo has found is 100 ppm from a bottlenose dolphin. In an interview with The Japan Times he stated: Everyone should avoid eating dolphin meat. If people continue to eat dolphin, there's a high probability of them having damage to their brains . No government agency is studying the problem - no scientists in Japan want to study the subject; it's very political.

Dr. Endo called for a government investigation into the selling of dolphin meat. He said: Dolphins are not food.

Some of the comments here on this page really make me wonder about the motives and agenda of the person/s who posted them. Or in other words: Who are you, and what do you do for a living, to deny the facts and NOT care... ?

Fact of life is: You may avoid, deny and cover up reality. But you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.

My heart and sympathy goes out to the Japanes people who (will) have to suffer from the consequences.

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Posted in: Global protests held against Japan's dolphin hunt See in context

Senseless, inhumane, brutal slaughter and selling toxic food to the population is supposed to be based on Japanese "ways, beliefs, customs, heritage" ?! That's not the country of Japan or the Japanese people I have come to know and to very much like and respect. I don't believe the majority of "the Japanese people" would in any shape or form support or approve of these slaughters, let alone support the sales of toxic food in their stores - if they only were informed about it !

The peaceful protests have been /are taking place in many countries worldwide. Hundreds of thousands of petition signatures, thousands of calls to the Japanese embassies and consulates, many Facebook pages of people supporting this cause... And NO - the protests are absolutely NOT held against Japan in general ! Not against Japan, not against the Japanese population, and also not against the people living in Taiji. This is about a handful of fishermen. Alternative income sources have been offered to them. This is about making money in a huge "entertainment" industry. And most of all: This is about the Japanese people left in the dark about the toxic food which is sold to them !

Nobody is trying to "force" anything on Japan. But the Japanese population has a right to be informed about what's going on in their own country. I'm sure they will draw the right conclusions - and draw appropriate consequences. And until THEY do, you can count on it that many, many people worldwide will continue to raise awareness and to protest against these slaughters.

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