The Taiji Dolphins

[wpaudio url=”https://www.btbpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Taiji-Dolphins.mp3″ text=”Click to listen”]
We have already talked about the international objections to Japan’s whaling program, but over the last couple of weeks, another issue has been grabbing headlines around the world. This is the story of the dolphin hunt that takes place in Taiji every year.

I don’t know how aware Japanese people are of this issue, but it became a global news story after a film called “The Cove” was made about it.

As you know, I am strongly against the hunting of whales, so I’m sure I don’t need to tell you what I think about the idea of herding dolphins into a cove and then slaughtering them for meat.

Leaving aside my own personal views, however, the reality is that like whaling, this issue has a hugely negative impact on Japan’s image around the world. Some Japanese people don’t seem to care about that, so I would love to hear your opinions.

To me, this issue is what we would call in English a “no-brainer.” Instead of killing the dolphins, why don’t the people of Taiji take people out on boats to look at / swim with them? I can’t imagine that anyone feels particularly strongly that they want to eat dolphin meat, so why not do something else that would a) remove all the negative publicity and b) make much more money?

Anyway, I would love to know your answers to these questions:

1) How aware are Japanese people of this hunt?
2) How aware are Japanese people of the negative publicity that it gets internationally?
3) Do you think Japanese people generally support the hunt?
4) Why do you think that the Taiji fishermen continue to do it?

Look forward to hearing your opinions.

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36 Comments

  1. Tsuneko on 2014年01月27日 at 20:28

    Hi, David and everyone,

    This is a difficult and sad issue for me to make a comment. I know many people in the world including Japanese people love whales and dolphins very much because they are not only friendly but also very intelligent. I guess even quite many Taiji people also feel the same but the fishermen there just keep going their old tradition. I’m quite sure they can live without the hunt now although it must have been important for them old poor days. Well then, why don’t they stop doing that?

    I think there must be some people who still want to eat it, so the meat might sell more expensive than other fish. Also, it seems they don’t like to strongly be ordered to quit it by people who don’t really try to understand the totally different culture but just complain of them being cruel.

    I also want them to stop the hunt, but I’m sorry I’m afraid I don’t have any good idea that’s something like melting their hard minds.



  2. Tsuneko on 2014年01月27日 at 21:39

    p.s. I just read an article on Facebook. It seems “dolphin slaughter” also happens on the Faroe islands – an autonomous, self-governing region lying isolated in the Norwegian Sea midway between the UK, Iceland and Norway. As a fact, they are not dolphins but pilot whales says the writer.



  3. YU on 2014年01月27日 at 23:37

    Hi everyone,

    Here’s Mr Abe’s response to dolphin controversy :

    http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2014/01/23/abe-responds-to-dolphin-controversy/

    As I mentioned when we discussed ‘whaling’ before, I still don’t understand why whales and dolphins should be protected and pigs, cows and chickens can be killed for meat, though, I don’t think you can do anything you like in the name of ‘culture’ or ‘old practice’ as Mr Abe mentioned, either. That’s a lame excuse.

    As Tsuneko mentioned, I don’t think Taiji fishermen can’t make a living without hunting dolphins, they can catch other kinds of fish instead, but then the same question returns to me – Why other fish can be killed for meat, but whales or dolphins can’t? (I know they aren’t fish, though.)

    Ms. Kennedy calls it ‘inhuman’, but what is ‘inhuman’ in the first place? Killing cows, pigs and chickens for meat is ‘human’? I can’t follow the logic…

    By the way, if you’re interested, here you can see what Wakayama prefecture(where Taiji-cho is in) thinks of this issue.

    English :

    http://www.pref.wakayama.lg.jp/prefg/071500/iruka/dolphin_fishery.html

    Japanese :

    http://www.pref.wakayama.lg.jp/prefg/071500/iruka/index.html



  4. YU on 2014年01月28日 at 09:52

    Hi Tsuneko,

    I agree with you that dolphins are intelligent, but as Wakayama prefecture says, I think even pigs and cows have emotion and intelligence too. I simply don’t understand why people who criticize the dolphin hunt can ignore the fact.
    I don’t think they value all animals equally.



  5. David on 2014年01月28日 at 10:11

    Hi YU,

    I think you have a very valid point there. Unfortunately, people are not logical, and the killing of dolphins is a highly emotional issue that causes massive damage to Japan’s international image.

    I was thinking yesterday that someone should do the following:

    a) Ask the Taiji fishermen how much money they make from killing the dolphins.
    b) Launch a worldwide appeal to raise that amount of money.
    c) Give the money to the fishermen.

    That way, people who object to the hunt would be able to stop it as long as they were prepared to pay. As with the “dolphin watching” idea, I can’t help but think that the fishermen would make far more money under this system.



  6. Biwa on 2014年01月28日 at 11:15

    Hi everyone,

    As a start, these are my answers to the questions.

    1) We don’t learn these things at school, but from TV shows and newspaper articles, I know about the dolphin hunting. Actually, I once tried something like a dolphin-jerky a long time ago(I think it was a souvenir from my husband’s friend), but it tasted so horrible that I could hardly swallow it. I just simply thought it was a very special food eaten in a very particular area of Japan.

    2) To tell the truth, I didn’t know that this issue has been causing so much international criticism. I didn’t know the movie or Ms. Kennedy’s comment until I read this entry. I don’t watch TV, but has it been reported in Japanese papers, too? Have I skipped them?

    3) If people in Taiji were just killing the proper amount to sustain their traditional or modest diet, I think it would be okay to hunt. As most of us said in the whale-hunting discussion, I don’t really see any difference in killing cows and dolphins because we’re killing for food anyway. Also, I don’t really believe all opponents’ stories because they are sometimes very hypocritical. For the same reason, I guess the movie has lots of exaggeration, too.(By the way, I don’t mean to make enemies here!)
    However, as I see things on the net, I guess the Taiji fisherman are killing more than they really need. It’s just like the whale hunting. For example, why don’t they disclose the amount they actually kill? Why do they have to hide the hunting under sheets and covers? If they want people to understand what they do, they need to act accordingly. As long as they don’t, I don’t support them.

    4)Probably because it’s something they’ve been doing for ages. They don’t want to quit just because many people say it’s inhumane. Too much criticism causes only stubbornness, I think. However, I really wonder if they really make that much money by selling dolphin meat. It’s not served in school lunches. It’s something even more alien to many people’s life than whales.

    By the way, I like your ideas, David. It reminds me of the story “The North wind and the Sun.” If you want someone to do/not to do something, you need a bit of contrivance.



  7. YU on 2014年01月28日 at 11:23

    Hi David,

    > That way, people who object to the hunt would be able to stop it as long as they were prepared to pay.

    Why don’t people do the same against livestock farmers to stop them killing cows, pigs and chickens for meat? Because they don’t want to renounce eating them?

    I understand that people are not logical, but paying money to save dolphins is nothing but for their self-satisfaction.

    > As with the “dolphin watching” idea, I can’t help but think that the fishermen would make far more money under this system.

    I think so too, but in reality there’re a lot of animals both “for watching” and “for eating” in this world such as fish, cows, pigs, rabbits, deer, ducks, pigeons and others. I want to see how those who object to the dolphin hunt react when they see those animals in the aquarium or in the zoo. Why only whales and dolphins must be only “for watching”?



  8. YU on 2014年01月28日 at 11:46

    Hi David,

    Some might argue that cows in the zoo and cows in the farm are different, cows in the farm are raised for food, but that’s again illogical. The fact remains that they’re all living creatures.



  9. David on 2014年01月28日 at 12:10

    Hi YU,

    You’re welcome to try starting a “cow watching business,” but I don’t think you’ll make much money!



  10. YU on 2014年01月28日 at 12:44

    Hi David,

    Me either! I don’t think you’ll make much money with cattles(cows for food), but there’re places making a lot of money with milk cows, which is called “ふれあい牧場” throughout Japan. They are always crowded with people with children on weekends. There you can learn how to milk cows, feed them, or you can simply watch them too!
    Actually, they do both “cow watching business” and “cow selling business”.



  11. Tsuneko on 2014年01月28日 at 13:47

    Hi Yu,

    No objection to your idea, yes, you’re right. Every creature has a life and it must have each value and meaning equally.



  12. YU on 2014年01月28日 at 16:00

    Hi Biwa,

    > However, as I see things on the net, I guess the Taiji fisherman are killing more than they really need.

    Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not.

    > It’s just like the whale hunting. For example, why don’t they disclose the amount they actually kill?

    Wiki says that 3,022 dolphins were captured in 2011, and 976 of them were hunted drive hunting by Taiji fishermen. All the rest(2,246) were harpooned in other areas in Japan(mainly in Iwate prefeture). 89 of 976 dolphins captured by Taiji fishermen were sold to aquariums or others.(That means, those who visit aquariums pay to Taiji fishermen without realizing it.)

    By the way, you can see this description in Japanese, but not in English version.

    > Why do they have to hide the hunting under sheets and covers?

    Wiki also says that they hadn’t hidden anything before the film “The Cove” was shown and the hunting became a target of international criticism.

    > However, I really wonder if they really make that much money by selling dolphin meat. It’s not served in school lunches. It’s something even more alien to many people’s life than whales.

    I totally agree with you.
    I wonder where on earth dolphin meat is sold here. I don’t particularly want to eat it though…



  13. Kattie on 2014年01月28日 at 20:37

    Hi everyone,

    I completely agree with Biwa’s points 3) and 4)and couldn’t express it better myself.



  14. Fumie on 2014年01月28日 at 22:43

    Hi David and everyone,

    It’s a very touchy issue.
    Coincidentally, today’s lunch menu was whale meat クジラのノルウェー風。(I work at a public elementary school in Osaka.) I was so surprised when I saw it. What a perfect timing! It’s a rare menu, maybe once or twice a year. I ate it but I somehow felt sorry for whales. I can eat whales but I can’t eat dolphins.

    Personally, I agree with David’s idea of using dolphins for entertainment. If they(Taiji fisher men) agreed with it, the problem would work out fine.
    Having said that I kind of understand what Taiji fishermen are doing. As YU said, people catch and kill other animals so why only catching dolphins and whales are condemned?
    Some of Sea Shepherd members are Australians. They kill kangaroos for meat. So they can’t blame Taiji fishermen. They do exactly the same thing. In this point, their argument isn’t logical at all.
    Anyway, I like dolphines and whales and I think most Japanese people like them. I don’t want people kill them.



  15. Anne on 2014年01月28日 at 23:05

    Hi David and everyone,

    My thought toward this week’s topic hasn’t changed since we last discussed here, and YU, I couldn’t agree with you more.

    As tsuneko mentioned, Japan is not the only country that people do whale(dolphin) hunting and also even in Japan, there are other places where people make living by hunting. Then, why do people in other countries criticize only Taiji’s dolphin hunting by name? I assume it’s because bloody sea has a strong impact on people’s eyes, especially after the movie was made, people have come to pay attention to its way a lot more.

    Actually, I visited Taiji several years ago and saw the cove; dolphins were there. I also visited a kind of museum there and knew how people have been involved with dolphins including hunting.

    >c) Give the money to the fishermen
    —I don’t think situation is not that simple. How many years do people are supposed to get money? Forever?



  16. Kattie on 2014年01月29日 at 02:01

    Hi everyone,

    I’ve been thinking about this and I think one of the reasons why people often view dolphins differently is because whenever I have seen wildlife documentaries about them, it seems like there’s a natural affinity between people and dolphins – dolphins look like they really trust people, they always seem very friendly and often look like they’re trying to communicate, so hunting them seems particularly barbaric.

    Logically though, providing they are killed as humanely as possible and we eat what we kill, I don’t suppose there’s any difference between killing them and any other animal.



  17. Biwa on 2014年01月29日 at 10:02

    Hi YU,

    Thanks for the Wiki information.
    My comment was based on an article(Jan 20th) in Japan Today. It says that a fishing industry official refused to disclose the number of the slaughtered dolphins. Maybe he either didn’t want to stir things up or take responsibility of doing so.

    Hi everyone,

    By the way, I found another article which says nearly 74% of the whale and dolphin related profit of Taiji comes from selling “live” whales/dolphins. That’s very likely, considering that most Japanese people don’t really eat those meat. Anyway, the biggest buyer of live ones is China(64%), and others are Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, UAE, etc. There has been a boom in aquarium construction in those countries. What makes me sad is that almost one out of five whales/dolphins die while being exported. To me, it sounds crueler than killing them for meat.

    http://www.all-creatures.org/ha/saveDolphins/NoAquarium/dolphin_money.html

    If the Taiji fishermen are continuing the hunting/capturing of whales/dolphins to gain a huge profit under the name of “traditional culture,” that is very sly and dishonest, isn’t it? And I guess that if the business stands on a certain supply and demand, things are even worse.



  18. YU on 2014年01月29日 at 11:53

    Hi Anne,

    > Then, why do people in other countries criticize only Taiji’s dolphin hunting by name?

    I guess one of the reasons is that the method they use to capture and kill them. Taiji is the only place in Japan(or in the world?) whose fishermen still continue the dolphin drive hunting. Like most of people who object to the hunt, I think it would be much better, if they were killed in a more humane way, too.
    Actually, all other dolphin fishermen in Japan seem to harpoon(銛で突く方法) them, so I wonder why the Taiji fishermen don’t give it a try once.

    Hi Kattie,

    I don’t say dolphins aren’t friendly, but I suspect most people in the world including me just want to believe that they’re intelligent, beautiful, and friendly animal.
    I’ve heard that some dolphin researchers announced that ‘some kinds of dolphins’ aren’t as intelligent or friendly as it is believed a little while ago, and then dolphin conservationists strongly protested against them. I don’t know who says the truth, though, as far as I watch some videos on the net, there seems to be some truth in what the researchers say.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k1qI-gxIIo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXiakfblpFs&feature=player_embedded

    They look friendly and in most cases they really are, but I don’t think that is the case in all dolphins in this world because they are just a kind of animals.



  19. YU on 2014年01月29日 at 14:27

    Hi Biwa,

    Thank you for the link.

    > By the way, I found another article which says nearly 74% of the whale and dolphin related profit of Taiji comes from selling “live” whales/dolphins.

    That’s a quite big part!
    However, I felt there’s something strange in the writer’s comment below.

    > 売上高の実に約74%が生きたイルカを売ったお金である。何がクジラの食文化の継承なのか。これでは全くの動物商ではないか。食文化を隠れ蓑にして多くの命の取引が行われていたことに、町民として大変恥ずかしい思いがします。

    The data pasted in the article is the report of final account of Taiji town. That means, it is made based on the sales volume(売上高), not on the sales number of dolphins(イルカの販売頭数), so it doesn’t mean that 74% of dolphins captured in Taiji were sold “live” or more number of “live” dolphins than “dead” ones are used to make their profit. I just guess that “live” dolphins are (much) more expensive than “dead” ones.
    In fact Wiki says that 89 of 976 dolphins captured by Taiji fishermen were sold to aquariums or others in 2011. “Live” dolphins might account for 74% of the whole sales volume, but its sales number is under 10% of the total number of dolphins captured in Taiji in the year.

    I don’t know if Taiji fishermen capture dolphins to gain a huge profit under the name of traditional culture, but I think it is going too far to call them animal dealers picking up only this data.

    The writer also says,

    > (水族館に)イルカ展示をやめるよう意見を送ってください。

    Interesting.
    Why she asks to stop displaying only dolphins?
    There’re a lot of other fish or animals(like polar bears or penguins) displayed to entertain us in the aquarium too.



  20. Biwa on 2014年01月30日 at 08:11

    Hi YU,

    >I don’t know if Taiji fishermen capture dolphins to gain a huge profit under the name of traditional culture, but I think it is going too far to call them animal dealers picking up only this data.

    I see. However, the truth is that the Taiji fishermen are gaining a huge amount of money(about 170 million yen in 2011) for selling live whales/dolphins, whatever you name it. They are pretending to be humble fishermen who are just trying to preserve their unique tradition, but actually, they’re doing a sly business. To me, “animal dealers” are more honest because they don’t hide the truth from the beginning. I don’t protest these fishermen for killing dolphins for meat they eat, but I do feel very angry if they are pretending to be weak fishermen!

    >Why she asks to stop displaying only dolphins?

    Maybe she’s particularly interested in saving dolphins. Of course, I don’t know.

    Hi everyone,

    As I said before, I didn’t really know about all this dispute over the dolphin hunting until I read this entry. How about you? Has it been given a lot of attention in the Japanese media, too? I tried to check out the old newspapers last night, but I noticed that I had thrown them away for recycling on Monday!



  21. Biwa on 2014年01月30日 at 09:59

    Sorry, “I don’t protest these fishermen” should be “I don’t protest against these fishermen.”



  22. YU on 2014年01月30日 at 10:19

    Hi Biwa,

    >To me, “animal dealers” are more honest because they don’t hide the truth from the beginning. I don’t protest these fishermen for killing dolphins for meat they eat, but I do feel very angry if they are pretending to be weak fishermen!

    I see. Then, if the Taiji fishermen admitted that they’re selling live dolphins to gain profit, do you think people who object to the hunt would agree with it? I don’t really think so. It’s strange because they agree with selling other live animals like lions, tigers, penguins, etc… Just to remind you, I’m not saying that’s why they should hide it!
    Besides, I don’t think you can say that all what they say is untrue because in reality they hunt dolphins for meat too, and as I mentioned, the number of live dolphins they sold in 2011 was under 10% of the total sales number. It’s up to you if you talk about it based on the profit or number, isn’t it?

    Actually, I don’t really think they’re hiding it, if so, why anyone can read it in Wiki or in the report? The writer of the article seems to be a resident of Taiji town and the report seems to be opened to the public like him/her. If they really want to hide it, why do they open it to the public? I also read in Wiki that the meeting for an exchange of ideas about this issue was held between Taiji town and anti-whaling groups including Sea Sepherd in 2010. So, I don’t think they run or hide. I suspect the fact is that they stopped talking because they know the opponents will anyway report about them more scandalously than they really are whatever they say.



  23. YU on 2014年01月30日 at 10:36

    Hi David,

    I know you don’t always check this blog and it sometimes takes time comments with links to be approved by you, but I’m wondering if my comment to Anne and Kattie I posted yesterday(I think it was early afternoon) has been lost because of the links. They were the videos warning us dolphins are not always friendly.

    Anyway, I’ll wait.



  24. David on 2014年01月30日 at 10:38

    Hi YU,

    Sorry about that. I have just approved it. I thought I’d already done it, but obviously I hadn’t.

    Actually, I check the blog all the time, and I read every comment as it is posted. I normally approve comments straight away unless I am doing something (like driving) when they are posted.

    Anyway, sorry for the inconvenience.



  25. YU on 2014年01月30日 at 10:53

    Hi David,

    Thank you!



  26. Kattie on 2014年01月30日 at 11:20

    Hi Yu,

    >They look friendly and in most cases they really are, but I don’t think that is the case in all dolphins in this world because they are just a kind of animals.

    They sound just like people!

    I think it was George Bernard Shaw, a famous British playwright who said ‘Animals are my friends, I don’t eat my friends’ – it’s a good case for vegetarianism – mind you, I don’t think I would like to eat my enemies either!



  27. Megumi on 2014年01月30日 at 12:23

    Dear David and everyone,

    Hi, this is my first coment here.
    Have you ever visit Taiji town before? It’s very small town. There is not much population and I don’t think people who live there are wealthy. You can see many dolphins and wheals there, and there are some commercial places where you can touch, play and swim with dolphins. They have an aquarium where you can see dolphin show and they have a beach you can swim with dolphins. There are many restaurants and accommodations you can eat wheal’s meat. I think they’ve lived with dolphins and wheals which are the way of living for a long time. I heard there had been many places where fishermen hunt dolphins and wheals before in Japan. Most of them quit that except Taiji fishermen. I think one of reason is that Taiji town is desert area of Kansai (or Wakayama). It takes 6 or 7 hours to get there from Osaka by train. I think making money with another kind of fish was difficult for Taiji fishermen because there are many fishing ports close to Osaka.
    Before telling them not to kill dolphins or wheals, I think we have to think the way how people in Taiji earn their livings.



  28. David on 2014年01月30日 at 12:26

    Hi Megumi,

    Thanks for your comment. I didn’t know any of the points you explained. This is obviously a very complicated question for which there is no easy answer. The reality, however, is that this hunt massively damages Japan’s international image, so I hope that some kind of solution can be found.



  29. YU on 2014年01月30日 at 14:07

    Hi Megumi,

    Nice to have you with us and thank you for your detailed information about Taiji town.

    I think the problem is that dolphin/whale conservationists won’t listen to our story and tend to believe destorted facts or false rumors supporting their arguments and criticize us because they want to save dolphins and whales no matter what, as they are special animals for them. They would probably deny it, but I think what they say and do tell it very well. They often get illogical and emotional.
    As David mentioned, this is a very complicated question for which there is no easy answer, but at least we(most Japanese) are calmer than them when we talk about this issue.



  30. Biwa on 2014年01月30日 at 15:41

    Hi Megumi,

    Nice to have you with us.
    Actually, when I was looking for related articles in JapanToday, I found an article titled “Dolphin-killing town to open marine park.” It was published in October last year so it was no longer available. However, you can still read the comments from the readers. Most of them are from anti-dolphin-hunting people, with a very disgusted tone such as; “Swim with flipper in the morning and dine on him in the evening- ugh”
    Of course, I don’t simply support these people, but it’s interesting to see what they think.

    Hi YU,

    >Then, if the Taiji fishermen admitted that they’re selling live dolphins to gain profit, do you think people who object to the hunt would agree with it?

    No, I didn’t say that.
    I tried to say what the Taiji fishermen do makes even a person like me(who is not particularly against their hunting, of course, providing they eat up what they kill) want to protest against them.

    If the fishermen are simply trying to preserve their tradition in a modest way, there is nothing to be ashamed of. They should go and appeal to the world confidently. However, the fact that three-forths of their gain comes from selling live dolphins/whales which has nothing to do with their “traditional diet” would badly ruin their legitimacy of their argument, I think.



  31. YU on 2014年01月30日 at 18:47

    Hi Biwa,

    > No, I didn’t say that.

    I know you didn’t say that, of course.
    That’s why I wrote, “I see.”

    > If the fishermen are simply trying to preserve their tradition in a modest way, there is nothing to be ashamed of. They should go and appeal to the world confidently.

    They already do it. I think that’s precisely why Taiji town talked with anti-whaling groups including Sea Shepherd a few years ago. And Wakayama prefecture appeals it to the world on behalf of Taiji town in their English home page.

    > However, the fact that three-forths of their gain comes from selling live dolphins/whales which has nothing to do with their “traditional diet” would badly ruin their legitimacy of their argument, I think.

    That’s an idea, but I have a different idea from yours, and I already explained it twice. I said, it might be just a matter of difference in prices between dead dolphins and live ones because the report is made based on the sales volume, not on the sales number of dolphins. If live dolphins are much more expensive than dead ones by chance, is it their fault too? Besides, there’s no evidence that they do the business maliciously.
    Actually, I find what the writer says in the article is quite one-sided and not objective because s/he is strongly against the dolphin hunt herself.

    > 発展を続けている中国、韓国、シンガポール諸国やロシア、エジプトなどへ日本がイルカを輸出しており、ヨーロッパの動物福祉の流れに逆行して、日本がイルカの供給源となっています。

    As you can see from the comment above, her argument starts from the idea that anti-dolphin hunt is right. Her article is all about how bad Taiji town is from start to finish. So, I don’t feel like believing what she writes there 100% because articles like that often brainwash people.

    By the way, I’ve seen a documentary TV program featuring ‘live tuna selling business’ before, not to fish markets, but to aquariums. That means, there are a lot of other fishing ports who sell other kinds of live fish to aquariums to make money. I wonder why only live whale/dolphin/killer whales selling business are spotlighted and blamed.



  32. Anne on 2014年01月30日 at 19:26

    Hi Yu and everyone,

    >I guess one of the reasons is that the method they use to capture and kill them.
    –Yes, I think so,too. AS I wrote in my comment, the scene killing dolphins is quite shocking to see, and I can easily imagine how people feel after watching that scene. To be honest, I don’t want to see the waters with blood.
    In that sense, I hope Taiji fishermen would change their ways for hunting.

    Concerning this issue, Japanese newspaper didn’t seem to spare much space nor did on TV.
    I read lots of articles mostly from the US media, so I guess some(or many) of the Japanese people might not know how big Taiji dolphin issue has become in the world recently. Anyway, among several anchors from the US, some reported it just as one of the news, I mean, in even tone and calmly. However, some anchor reported hysterically showing the video of bloody sea, and that made me feel sick and angry.

    As members mentioned, fishermen make their living not only by killing them but by selling them.(I didn’t know the number. Thanks for the information.)

    Why do people accuse of Taiji dolphin only? U.S.Ambassador,Caroline Kennedy referred to Taiji dolphin killing as inhumane on twitter. If so, is it OK when fishermen change their ways and do hunting outside the cove?

    Not only in Japan but also in other countries, whale hunting has been done within the permitted numbers. Actually, other countries question about scientific research of a whale by Japan.

    Do people claim that fishermen should stop hunting because dolphins are mammals or KWAII(lovely)? Or because they are more intelligent than other animals?

    Sorry to say, I might be missing something, and I can’t show my thought clearly and logically, but anyway this is what I feel about this issue at the moment. It’s too complicated to explain it logically.

    By the way, I happened to be asked about this issue from a friend of mine who lives in a foreign country last week. I don’t think I could explain the situation enough.

    Hi Megumi,
    Nice to have you with us and thanks for sharing your thought.

    Hi David,
    As for your questions,I don’t think people in Japan don’t pay attention to this as(like?) people in other countries do.

    >I can’t imagine that anyone feels particularly strongly that they want to eat dolphin meat,
    —There are some people who want to eat dolphin meat because you can’t get easily. When I was a child, I ate whale meat because it was cheaper than other meat like pig or chicken.



  33. Biwa on 2014年01月30日 at 23:23

    Hi Anne,

    >Concerning this issue, Japanese newspaper didn’t seem to spare much space nor did on TV.

    Thanks for your reply.
    That’s quite probable. It’s also a real pity because while some people in other countries see what is happening in a very small town in Japan and have strong feelings against it, some(or perhaps many?) Japanese people(including me!) don’t really know about it. Anyway, thanks to this blog, I can at least think about it. I hope the Japanese media tries to take up such an important issue next time.



  34. YU on 2014年01月30日 at 23:53

    Hi Anne and everyone,

    I had a look at the website of Taiji town and read some articles on Japanese newspapers about this issue.

    http://www.town.taiji.wakayama.jp/index.html

    http://news.livedoor.com/article/detail/8473466/

    Unlike you, I’ve never been there, but they seem to have been living together with whales and dolphins for over 400 years, but the film “The Cove” seems to have completely changed people’s peaceful lives there by giving a little truth and a lot of wrong information to people in the world.

    As Wakayama prefecture says, the film, the media, and people in the world never try to see what Taiji town is actually like or understand how closely people there have been related to whales and dolphins. They completely ignore the fact that Taiji people have the custom of regularly holding a memorial service for the whales and dolphins too. Actually, the website of Taiji town says that they’re trying to change their main business from the whale/dolphin fishery to the tourist business with whales and dolphins.

    Every country, every group, everyone have a right to give/have their opinions to/against someone, but at the same time I think they ought to listen to what the other party says.

    I don’t really think the Taiji fishermen are good at expressing their views, so in return for the film “The Cove”, I’d suggest them making a self-produced film with their town and prefecture to tell the truth and their argument to the world. The people in the world should comment after watching the film.



  35. Biwa on 2014年01月31日 at 09:02

    >but I have a different idea from yours, and I already explained it twice.

    I know! I read every comment, too.
    Just as you have your own ideas, I have mine, too. I wonder why you write so aggressively!

    >I wonder why only live whale/dolphin/killer whales selling business are spotlighted and blamed.

    That is precisely the point I was trying to make at the beginning of the discussion. I mean, your point is very logical, and I understand 100% what you mean. However, the opponents are illogical on this point from the beginning, so I don’t really think it would be so effective to insist on this point. Just to make sure, I’m not saying that you have to give up on the idea of trying to explain your thoughts. I just think that if your statement is not really working, it’s worth doing the discussion on a different ground where both parties can be more logical.



  36. YU on 2014年01月31日 at 10:58

    Hi Biwa,

    > I know! I read every comment, too.

    I’m sorry, I read all your comments too, but still, I wasn’t very sure if you got what I tried to explain in my previous comments. Please don’t get angry with your slow blog friend! (笑)

    > Just as you have your own ideas, I have mine, too. I wonder why you write so aggressively!

    I’m sorry, if my comment sounded offensive to you, but to tell the truth, your sentence “No, I didn’t say that.” sounded a bit offensive to me too. Now I know it was just my imagination, though! For example, “I’m afraid I don’t think I wrote things like that.” would have sounded softer. And I never said that your idea was wrong or impossible, but just like you, I just tried to explain I have a different idea from yours too. That’s why I accepted your ideas once with my sentence “That’s an idea,(それも一つの考え方ですね)” by way of introduction before telling you my own, didn’t I?

    However, I think it’s all a matter of whether we talk in person or not after all. The same sentence could sound both offensive and inoffensive when we correspond with each other only in writing.

    Having said that, it’s true that we almost always have different ideas! 🙂

    Hi everyone,

    Finally…my electricity bill for last month exceeded 20,000yen! (21,284 yen)
    I’ve never received such an expensive one before!