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Japan defends dolphin hunt after U.S. criticism

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:57 a.m. HST, Jan 21, 2014

TOKYO >> A Japanese government spokesman defended an annual dolphin hunt Monday, after U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy tweeted that she was deeply concerned by the inhumanity of the practice.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that dolphin fishing in Japan is carried out appropriately in accordance with the law.

"Dolphin fishing is a form of traditional fishing in our country," he said, responding to a question about Kennedy's criticism. "We will explain Japan's position to the American side."

Kennedy tweeted on Saturday, "Deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing." She added that the U.S. government opposes such fishing.

Drive hunt refers to the practice of herding the dolphins into a cove, where they are trapped and later killed.

The hunt in the fishing village of Taiji in western Japan has come under international criticism and was the subject of the Academy Award-winning 2009 film "The Cove."

The fishermen in Taiji say the hunt is part of their village tradition and call foreign critics who eat other kinds of meat hypocritical.

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Carang_da_buggahz wrote:
The U.S. needs to keep it's big fat nose out of the traditions of the Japanese. Why is it so important that we seem to wade in the midst of another culture and impose our values on them? Inserting ourselves into an issue where we clearly are not invited nor solicited for our opinion only stokes the flames of the "Ugly American" stereotype…and with good reason. We need to KTFO of their cultural activities.
on January 20,2014 | 02:17PM
kiragirl wrote:
I disagree. If another country is doing something so disgusting, nothing wrong with showing our opposition to that practice. Maybe they will stop but if they don't, we tried. Better than doing nothing. In this particular practice, there is a growing number of Japanese people also against this practice.
on January 20,2014 | 04:00PM
Kealii wrote:
Then what about in other parts of the world where they find our slaughter and consumption of beef inhumane? You don't see them trumpeting and protesting our "traditions" just because they oppose it. They keep their noses out of our business. And we should likewise. Instead we're a bunch of hypocrites. Our country loves to open its big, fat mouth where it's not wanted. Which is just one of the reasons why we're one of the world's most hated countries.
on January 20,2014 | 04:17PM
kiragirl wrote:
WHAT country find our slaughter and consumption of beef inhumane? If you can name the country, then your rebuttal have credence. As of now, all I said was showing our opposition and not forcing anything upon them. I believe the USA is the greatest country and countless foreigners want to move here. The countries that don't think we are great are communist countries. If you think we are not the greatest country, then why stay here?
on January 20,2014 | 04:25PM
AJandKJ wrote:
Although it's not illegal to consume beef in India, there are strong cultural taboos against it since the cow is revered as sacred there.
on January 20,2014 | 05:03PM
kiragirl wrote:
No problem and if India was to protest the USA for eating meat, no problem again. Point is showing opposition for a disgusting practice is not wrong. Every poster in the SA is giving their opinion and that is what makes the USA the great country that we are.
on January 20,2014 | 05:22PM
drrddrd1993 wrote:
Disgusting to you, but cultural practice to them.
on January 20,2014 | 06:11PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Taro is sacred to some Native Hawaiians. I find it utterly disgusting that many Hawaiians and non-Hawaiian desecrate a sacred plant by eating it, but if that is what they want to do, who am I to object?
on January 20,2014 | 06:25PM
waikane75 wrote:
You obviously didn't watch the movie. The way that they kill the dolphins is very inhumane. More importantly, dolphins are beautiful, social animals with a complex social structure. They communicate with other dolphins and some people believe that they also experience emotion. They are considered the most intelligent animals next to humans. Many are more intelligent than the people who post here.
on January 20,2014 | 07:51PM
Solara wrote:
Yes, dolphins are beautiful and highly intelligent but what you neglected to mention about dolphins is that their high level of intelligence can also makes them very dangerous. They have been known to kill baby and juvenile porpoises for "fun" (even using their echolocation ability to target vital organs — documented on film), infanticide, as well as harass and gang rape other dolphins. I'm not saying that I agree with how the Japanese kill them but please don't be so one-sided when making your case for them.
on January 21,2014 | 10:41AM
drrddrd1993 wrote:
America should just worry about america...deal with the illegal overthrow of the hawaiian kingdom if you need something to do.
on January 20,2014 | 06:09PM
waikane75 wrote:
This practice is disgusting. Its not just dolphins, its whales too. I realize that this is a small segment of the Japanese culture but I gotta admit that when I donated for the tsunami relief fund several years ago, I hesitated because of this issue.
on January 20,2014 | 06:18PM
HD36 wrote:
Tried a peice of whale sashimi I bought in the supermarket in Japan last week. For $8 you get about 10 peices on daikon. The peices are dark red and there must have been alot of blood because the daikon was turning pink where the blood drained of the whale sashimi. After drinking 6 Asahi Super Dry beers I told the geisha to give me a piece. The first thing I noticed was the texture. More sinewy than fish, warmer, bloodier, and yet still fishy. I don't know what kind of whate it was but that was it for me.
on January 20,2014 | 07:22PM
LMO wrote:
That one bite necessitated the killing of the entire whale. Congratulations. You became part of the problem.
on January 21,2014 | 02:52AM
HD36 wrote:
Oh no, I ate a mammal that lives in the water. If it makes you feel any better, they eat the entire whale.
on January 21,2014 | 04:52AM
entrkn wrote:
Just like whale harvesting and decimating all the blue fin tuna fisheries throughout the world...
on January 20,2014 | 07:41PM
kukaikid wrote:
the whole thing is culturaly, morally, scientifically, and economically bankrupt...a dead tradition, for poisonous meat, for a fake research dolphin slavery trade that falsely portrays a very sad existence. the japanese have great passions and some of them like this are a great tragedy and folly.
on January 20,2014 | 08:49PM
NoFlippinWay wrote:
Just a thought. All the worlds fishing industries wind up killing more than an estimated 300,000 cetaceans(*) each year through the use of commercial fishing gear/nets (by-catch). That's not a typo, that's three hundred thousand. Whales and dolphins often die a slow death when they get entangled in these nets. Instead of always getting on each other's throats, and at times even being a xenophobe, why don't we use our energy trying to figure out how to tackle this larger problem? I'm not condoning what they do in Taiji but directing our anger towards Japan and only Japan isn't going to help with the much larger cause of cetacean deaths...IMO. (*IWCSC figures)
on January 21,2014 | 01:11AM
HD36 wrote:
In America, if you murder someone it doesn't matter if they don't have a brain stem or they are a genius, you go to jail. In the sea, they apply the same laws. They think a shirmp has the same rights as a dolphin.
on January 21,2014 | 04:57AM
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