A spokesperson from the Japanese government defended the annual dolphin hunt tradition in one of Japan’s towns that continues to come under criticism from the international community. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga justified the practice in a news conference, following the previous day’s tweet of U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy calling the tradition “inhumane.”
Speaking in a news conference, Suga justified the dolphin hunt as a traditional cultural practice and custom which is done according to the laws. “Dolphin fishing is a form of traditional fishing in our country,” said Suga. The defense came after U.S. envoy to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, took to the micro-blogging site Twitter to voice her concern about the dolphin hunt. She tweeted that she was “deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing” and that the US government is opposed to such practices. Suga further added that they will explain their stand on the matter to the U.S.
The fishing village of Taiji is known for its tradition of herding dolphins into a cove. After the dolphins are driven there, they cull the catch to see which can be sold to aquatic and marine establishments. Dolphins that were not selected were then slaughtered for its meat. The town and its tradition came under fire and received lots of criticism and attention after they were featured in the Academy Award winning documentary, “The Cove.” The town fishermen have since justified their custom and blasted their critics for hypocrisy, saying that eating meat from other kinds of animals is the same as eating dolphin meat.