Japan Dolphin Hunting Season Starts and Two Conservationists Are Rejected Entry

Japan Dolphin Hunting Season Starts and Two Conservationists Are Rejected Entry
去年一月海豚灣的捕豚活動|Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像
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Local police officers and villagers were supervising every move of conservationists in Taiji and the Japanese media even questioned why they were visiting the area. The authorities are unwilling to let them photograph anything, so they are even banned from carrying cell phones into supermarkets.

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Winner of the Oscars 2009 for Documentary Feature, The Cove, reveals that the Taiji fishermen slaughter 23,000 dolphins annually and provoked global attention on Japan’s hunting of dolphins.

September 1 is the first day of the hunting season of dolphins in Taiji. Conservationists from around the world, including three Hong Kong people, congregated to Taiji, Wakayama to protect the animals, but only a reporter from Animal Post, Chen Tai-shun, entered Japan successfully. The other two weren’t even granted visas.

Chen says the local police officers and villagers were supervising every move of them and created a tense atmosphere. The Japanese media even questioned why they were visiting Taiji. The authorities are unwilling to let them photograph anything, so they are even banned from carrying cell phones into supermarkets.

Chen also says due to bad weather, the fishermen have not gone dolphin hunting yet. He believes the fishermen will drive the dolphins to the bay and slaughter them later.

The fighters of dolphin conservation are arrested due to not carrying passports

The Cove stars Richard O’Barry, who revealed the bloody truth in Taiji and was arrested by Japanese police for not carrying his passport. O’Barry admitted he did not have his travel documents with him when he was questioned by the police in the vicinity of Taiji.

Mingbao reports, according to the local sources, O’Barry is likely to be deported and refused entry for the rest of his life. It is believed that so far only less than twenty conversationalists arrived in Japan safely.

Animal rights groups says the behavior is very cruel

“The Cove" records the annual local dolphin hunting activities in Japan. Ever since the documentary was released, Taiji town has become the center of global attention. The hunting of the dolphins has been continuously criticized by animal rights groups.

They describe the fishermen’s behavior to be very cruel and since dolphin meat doesn’t hold a large market, the groups say the hunters mostly sell the dolphins to other countries for quick profit.

Japan representatives say dolphin hunting is a Japanese tradition

Japan argues that killing dolphins is a tradition in Japan and points out that the number of dolphins hunted doesn’t threaten their population. The Japanese government also strongly supports the activity.

Local Japanese believe that the accusations from the west are too hypocritical. There are also other places that slaughter large numbers of cattle, pigs and sheep, but they aren’t mentioned and the locals think people shouldn’t only blame the Japanese fishermen.

Translated by June and Olivia Yang
Edited by Olivia Yang

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