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Rock star joins protest against Japan dolphin hunt

By Yuri Kageyama

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 02:43 p.m. HST, Sep 02, 2013

TOKYO >> Former Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum was in a remote Japanese fishing village today to protest against its annual dolphin hunt.

Sorum, who now leads his own group, is the latest celebrity to join the increasingly global campaign to stop the dolphin kill in Taiji, a quaint fishing village in central Japan made famous by the Academy Award-winning 2009 film about the hunt called "The Cove."

The movie depicts how dolphins are herded into a cove and speared by fishermen for their meat. The fishermen say the hunt is part of their village's tradition and call Western critics who eat other kinds of meat hypocritical.

The film features Ric O'Barry, who trained dolphins for the 1960s "Flipper" TV series and has devoted the latter part of his life to protecting dolphins and keeping them in nature.

Sorum arrived in Taiji on Sept. 1, the day the annual dolphin hunt begins, with O'Barry and dozens of Japanese and Western conservationists.

"Like a bad nightmare, I'm watching it almost like a twilight zone, surreal, looking into my eyes in complete disbelief -- what's going on in front of me," Sorum said, speaking by phone from Taiji after witnessing the hunt.

Dolphin and whale meat is considered an eccentric delicacy in Japan, though not all Japanese eat it and not all Japanese know about the hunts. Some nationalist groups have used the controversy to highlight their own message, accusing O'Barry and other Westerners of interfering with Japanese culture.

Over the weekend, nationalists in Taiji used loudspeakers to broadcast their message about the right to kill dolphins, and held a barbecue, presumably of whale or dolphin meat, at the cove, where Sorum and others opposing the hunt were watching.

"Our work here is about supporting the Japanese activists," O'Barry said. "You only hear about the blood and the guts, and it's being created by less than 50 men. It's not even the whole town of Taiji, and certainly not the country of Japan."

Sorum, who has also played with Velvet Revolver, said he hoped to organize a rock concert in Tokyo around the theme of "celebrating the dolphin," bringing together Japanese and Western musicians, including his new band, Kings of Chaos.

"I'm going to bring a bunch of heavyweights, big rock stars," said Sorum. "The main thing is to get the Japanese kids."

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Carang_da_buggahz wrote:
Who gives a rat's arse WHAT this Matt Sorum, thinks? We've got no right to interfere in the traditions and customs of the good people in Taiji. Somehow, Americans think we know better than everyone else about how to run their lives. We need to quit cramming our value system down the throats of the rest of the world and concentrate on solving our OWN problems. Goodness knows there's more than a few lifetimes worth of them running around.
on September 2,2013 | 04:26PM
auina wrote:
Right On! Couldn't have said better.
on September 2,2013 | 06:22PM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Maybe we ought to be looking at our own Sea World before we go out trumpeting how high and mighty we are.
on September 2,2013 | 08:10PM
SteveToo wrote:
I loved my Tuna Sandwiches better when they were part dolphin. LOL Who cares if they are mammals? We eat cows, and pigs don't we? Lots of people around the world eat other mammals.
on September 2,2013 | 05:10PM
mikethenovice wrote:
cows and pigs are not endangered. We only have so much dolphins in the seas.
on September 2,2013 | 06:52PM
mikethenovice wrote:
Who sang, "I can hear the dolphins cry"? Moby?
on September 2,2013 | 06:51PM
Kealii wrote:
We just can't keep our nose out of other people's business, can we?
on September 2,2013 | 08:48PM
jaluasa wrote:
Western society knows best....
on September 2,2013 | 10:13PM
GorillaSmith wrote:
I don't see this inbred racist pinhead standing up against the genocide in Darfur or the fact that 11,000 African-Americans were murdered by fellow African-Americans in the period between when Trayvon Martin was shot and George Zimmerman was acquitted. I guess dolphins are more important than people who don't look like him. Anti-Japanese racist? I don't think these dots are especially hard to connect.
on September 3,2013 | 02:15AM
serious wrote:
Who the heck cares?? Just like Jane Fonda--what makes an entertainer an "expert"?
on September 3,2013 | 04:43AM
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