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Tokyo Olympics: Earth Island Renews Our Call to Japan: End Whaling and Dolphin Killing

| Mark J. Palmer
Topics: Dolphins, Taiji, Japan

The International Marine Mammal Project of Earth Island Institute recently renewed its call to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that Japan should permanently end the killing of whales and dolphins before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.  Our letter follows in English and Japanese. Copies were sent directly to Mr. Abe, and to the Japan Embassy in Washington DC and Japan Consulate in San Francisco. We will shortly be sending it to the Japan Olympics Committee, who have passed along our previous letters to the Japanese government.


The Hon. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister            November 12, 2018

1-6-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku

Tokyo, Japan100-8968


    Request Letter for Ending Dolphin and Whale Hunts


Dear Prime Minister Abe:

    We hope our letter finds you in good health.  We greet you with respect for the Japanese people and for Japan.

    Three recent events should bring home to you and the people of Japan the need to end the killing of whales and dolphins.  We again encourage you to take action to end whaling and the dolphin slaughter.

    As you know, the Japan Olympics Committee recently had to publicly apologize for including a captive dolphin show at Enoshima Aquarium for the opening of a cruising event that was a test of the venue for the upcoming 2020 Olympics.  The incident received wide coverage in Japanese and world media. We have attached a copy of the story from the Asahi Shimbun and the UK Guardian as examples. We believe this incident strongly reinforces our message to you that Japan should end the killing of dolphins and whales.  The dolphins in the aquarium were captured in the bloody dolphin hunts in Taiji.

    Furthermore, the tribunal for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) ruled recently that Japan was in nonconformance with that treaty for Japan’s research whaling of sei whales.  

    Last but not least, Japan’s effort to end the moratorium on commercial whaling was overwhelmingly rejected by the International Whaling Commission in September.

    Along with many other organizations and country governments, Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project is opposed to the killing of whales and dolphins.  We believe ending Japan’s killing of whales and dolphins, particularly in light of Japan’s hosting the Olympics in two years, would be beneficial to Japan and enhance Japan’s international reputation.

    We should stress that we do not believe in a boycott of Japan nor a boycott of the Olympics in Tokyo.  

    In 2020, Tokyo will be hosting the summer Olympics.  The world will focus on Japan, and Japan will have an extraordinary opportunity on the world stage to restore prestige.  

On that world stage, the slaughter of innocent whales and dolphins, anathema to most of the world’s people and governments, would send a jarring note of Japan’s unwillingness to cooperate with world bodies like the World Court, CITES, and the IWC.  This need not be the case.

The Olympics are all about cooperation and celebration.  The slaughter of whales and dolphins practiced by Japan are anything but.  Does Japan really need such black marks on their national reputation?

We are told in antiquity that Greek warriors laid down their arms and ceased wars in order to join in the Olympic competitions, upon which our modern Olympics are based.  It is time for Japan to lay down their harpoons and spikes with which they kill whales and dolphins, and join the rest of the world in ending the exploitation of these intelligent and remarkable beings.  Country after country, some having longer “traditions” of whale and dolphin hunting than Japan, have ceased such activities.

The Sept. 1st beginning of another season of dolphin hunting has commenced.  In December, the Japanese whaling fleet still plans to set sail for Antarctic waters.  Will the Japan government take action now to end the hunting?

We are enclosing our listing of alternatives for dolphin hunters and the communities in which they live and work.

A gesture of international cooperation and goodwill by Japan towards whales and dolphins would have immense global value.

    With two years to go, now is the time for Japan to start phasing out dolphin hunting and whaling permanently.  

    Thank you for your consideration of our views.


    David Phillips                        Mark J. Palmer

    Executive Director                    Associate Director






内閣総理大臣 安倍 晋三殿


    アースアイランド研究所   国際海洋哺乳類プロジェクト    エグゼクティブディレクター   デービッド・フィリップス

            アソシエイトディレクター   マーク・パーマー





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