In the Spirit of the Olympics and it's core values, we feel that as Host Nation and world stage for the 2020 Olympic games, the Japanese Government & Japanese Olympic Committee can no longer ignore the international condemnation of their out dated Whale & Dolphin hunts. The Japanese Government condones these hunts by funding the Southern Ocean Whaling Fleet & it also grant permits to the Taiji Fishermen's Union to hunt 2,800 dolphins from September to March for slaughter and to supply the captivity trade. While this is not illegal in Japan, the hunt has been condemned internationally as barbaric, profit driven and unsustainable. These hunts MUST STOP if Japan is to be considered a worthy & honourable host nation.
The TAIJI Hunt Continues:
Despite claims that the killing is swift and humane there is extensive evidence to prove otherwise. In this daily hunt, babies are torn from their mothers, many dolphins witness the slaughter of their entire families before either being taken captive or killed. The manner in which they are killed (a spear to the spinal cord which takes up to 7 minutes to die in agony) is unspeakable and inhumane. The hunt continues, hidden under tarpaulins in an attempt to conceal the slaughter, they clearly know what they are doing is wrong. Many Japanese people are becoming aware & condemning it, but most are afraid to speak out. All pleas to stop the killings are ignored by the people who have the power to stop it. The dolphin hunt is a lucrative business for the Taiji fishermen, the big money is in the captive trade supplying marine shows globally, with prime specimens selling for ¥800,000 in Japan, but much more abroad.
- Captives are initially held in cove sea pens, starved then force fed dead fish or tube fed and trained to perform to increase their value, while buyers are found. Traumatized, depressed and abused, many die waiting.
- Those not selected for captivity are slaughtered for human consumption, despite health warnings regarding the excessively high mercury content. This meat sells for around $22 per kilo.
Many alternatives have been put forth including turning the otherwise beautiful town of Taiji into a tourist attraction for whale and dolphin watching that allows the fishermen to continue to be employed, but they are repeatedly rejected in the name of "tradition". The Japanese whaling fleet is the only fleet in the world that continues to hunt under the guise of research, in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, a sanctuary where endangered species are meant to be safe from poaching, allowing their numbers to recover from the toll of relentless hunting.
Countries Taking a Stand
Australia instituted proceedings against Japan in The International Court of Justice regarding Japan's 'Scientific Whaling Program'. (JARPA II) Following a ruling from the International Court of Justice on 31 March 2014, Japan has been ordered to halt their whaling program in the Southern Ocean, due to several breaches of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW). http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/148/18136.pdf
If the IOC Evaluation Commission does not challenge these unsustainable atrocities under their Mandate for Environmental responsibility, it will be perceived that by ignoring this, the IOC are actually endorsing the hunts
. Unchallenged by the IOC Japan will continue to hunt these very social, amazingly intelligent animals, with large brains, closest in structure to the human brain, capable of higher brain functions & emotions like humans, and they will eventually be driven to extinction.
The International Olympic Committee's Opportunity:
The International Olympic Committee have the opportunity to make real changes in Japan, they can no longer disregard important environmental issues that contravene their own regulations & core values, which host nations are meant to be compliant with, we MUST ensure that they listen to the concerned masses, NOT the people who profit from this shameful 'tradition'. To clarify, at no point do we condone boycotting Japan or the Olympics, nor do we incite hatred, violence or negativity towards Japanese citizens.