A filmmaker from the BBC and a known animal activist posted on his Facebook page that he’s currently being detained at Osaka’s Kansai Airport and accused of being an “eco-terrorist.” Martyn Stewart has been to Japan several times to film documentaries about the controversial dolphin hunt in Taiji, and claims that he is being treated “nothing short of criminal” by immigration officials at the airport.
““I am locked in a cell room at Osaka airport waiting on an appeal to the high minister regarding my entry into Japan,” Stewart posted on his Facebook page on Thursday. He adds that he is accused of being a member of Sea Shepherd, Japan’s “enemy number one” when it comes to both the dolphin hunt and its whaling practices. He says in the same post that he has always strived to abide by Japan’s laws in the four years that he has been filming the Taiji hunt, but adds, “The government of Japan will do anything to protect the rights of the fishermen of Taiji and the barbaric treatment of the animals involved.”
In another post on the same day, he says that the officials at the airport are treating him like a criminal and accusing him of being a “racist,” and that is why he they are planning to deport him from Japan. The term racism has been used by several Taiji residents as the reason why foreigners are accusing them of their inhumane practices, when for the fishermen of the small town, it is said to be a fishing tradition and a source of livelihood. Documentaries like the ones that Stewart shoots for the BBC, and also the Oscar-winning film The Cove, have brought international attention to Taiji. US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy also weighed in on the practice by tweeting her call for an end to the “inhumane” tradition.
[ via London 24 ]