As the dolphin hunt season has begun in Japan, environment activists rallied in Tokyo on Saturday to show their protest against the annual event in the country. According to Action for Marine Mammals, the rally organizer, the demonstration in the capital was only one of the protests around the world. In central Tokyo, there were 50 people who joined the rally bearing banners saying, “Stop the slaughter.”
“Japanese people are responsible for stopping our country’s barbarian dolphin hunt,” said the group’s leader Toshiaki Morioka. Besides joining the protest in Tokyo, there were also others who went to Taiji in Wakayama, which is known for its annual dolphin hunt. The fishing village caught the attention of the world because of a 2009 documentary film called The Cove. Known for winning international recognition, including the 2010 Academy Award, the film featured how dolphins are captured and slaughtered in the southern town. The film also described Taiji as “a little town with a really big secret.” When the dolphins and whales are captured, some are placed in aquariums while the rest are slaughtered for meat. The dolphin hunt season lasts for months.
Besides the environmental activists, a dozen of right-wing Japanese nationals also came on Saturday to oppose the demonstration. Those who joined the protest were called hypocrites and were even urged to leave Japan, as they were charged with opposing Japanese culture. Ironically, the demonstrators were even labeled as “environmental terrorists.” Despite the presence of opposing groups, the police took charge and kept both parties away from causing harm to each other.