From: Ric O'Barry
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2010
Subject: Exposing the Dolphin Killers

Our Save Japan Dolphins team and I raced back to Japan this past week when it was announced that the Mayor of Taiji was finally willing to engage in a productive dialogue with us about dolphin killing. We hoped it represented a new beginning, but the Mayor and the radical nationalist group organizing the meeting had other plans.

They only let in media sympathetic to town officials and banned major news outlets like the AP, Fuji TV and Tokyo TV. Reporters had to submit questions ahead of time and we were not allowed to videotape the proceedings. Questions were censored.

After all our hard work of the past years to get the truth out, I just couldn't allow this to stand.

I announced that I would not participate in this sham and invited media to join me on the beach of the Cove to have a free dialogue open to all questions and all press. Chaos ensued and outraged officials began screaming at us. But more than half of the media in attendance came with me. It was almost a media riot as reporters followed me out to the Cove.

Once there I was able to:
-- unroll the banner representing signatures of 2 million people around the world who oppose the killing and capture of dolphins.
-- point out that Japan's own government institute reports that the mortality rate for Taiji and nearby Koazagawa, where dolphin meat is also consumed, is over 50% higher than the rate for similarly-sized villages throughout Japan; and
-- outline why the largest killing of dolphins in the world, and the sale of live dolphins to theme parks must come to an end.

Angry that their sham news conference had been exposed, the conference
"organizer" actually followed me in a nationalist truck blaring death threats over his megaphone.

It was a hectic and dangerous day, but it was crucial that we were there to stand up for dolphins.

We had to have a police escort to the train station for our trip to Tokyo. Yet I continue to believe there is a bright future for Taiji without the killing of dolphins, and that the people of Japan must be made aware of the truth..

Thank you for standing by the dolphins and us.

Ric O'Barry
2150 Allston Way, Suite 460, Berkeley, CA 94704-1375 tel: 510.859.9100 |
fax: 510.859.9091

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