Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Taiji Tourist Visa

Is saving dolphins a form of tourism?

By Steven Thompson
March 18, 2012

This youtube video shows members of the Zaitokukai (anti-Korean) group. After they spit at a Sea Shepherd vehicle in Taiji, they went to Osaka to push Immigration officials to keep Sea Shepherd "terrorists" out of the country. The officials seemed to humor the Zaitokukai members by meeting them outside of their office. The Zaitokukai filmed themselves doing this and uploaded it on the internet. The French Zen Master put in on youtube for easier access.

I feel that the Zaitokukai's work helps spread the word of the dolphin hunts and encourages more Japanese officials to join in helping the hunts to end.

If Sea Shepherd were demanding to end nuclear power or guarantee absolutely safe radiation free food, it would be an impossible situation. The well-known journalist, Christopher Johnson, probably got rejected re-entry into Japan this year because he was reporting the truth on nuclear issues.  The Japanese government, as it currently exists, could never meet these demands. Chris Johnson made enemies and offered them no way out.

But as things stand, it is not all that difficult to help end the killing of dolphins now costing more and more in security costs and stress on the little Taiji town. The Zaitokukai involvement helps to increase security costs.

Zaitokukai Banzai!
Long Live Silly Japanese Bullies!

The more people who want Sea Shepherds to leave Japan, the better.

End the hunt, and they will leave.

Still, Sea Shepherds and all dolphin activists will need to watch their backs especially if there is any taint of getting paid to be in Japan. That would mean they would need a work visa.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wackos at the Cove

 Taiji Front Lines

Chaos to Kushimoto
By Steven Thompson
March 13, 2012

The situation in Taiji has gone from End-of-the-Season Sayonara to Wacko-Fest Extravaganza at the Cove.

Make some popcorn, get a drink. It's only going to get more interesting in our quest to save the dolphins.

Yesterday, right-wing nationalists spit what looks like chocolate sauce all over a Cove Guardian's car. This has confirmed three things for me.

1. Right Wingers are silly
2. Japanese police need better planning
3. Cove Guardian strategy works

A few car loads of Japanese wannabe gangsters looked like drunken toddlers as they spit brown goo, displayed their middle fingers, and stuck out their tongues as they pushed around Taiji's finest boys in blue, one day after the more heavily armed prefectural police went home for the season.

The Taiji situation has gone beyond my imagination. If the nationalists had not come to show their tongues and fingers, nothing would have happened in Taiji and the Cove Guardians would have inevitably gone home till September.

But now that the Zaitokukai has sent the special Kansai Club to Taiji, any activist keen to get more involved will and should send resources to Sea Shepherd or Save Japan Dolphins, or they will go to Taiji and join the fun.

Can you say Zaitokukai and smile at the same time? Try it. Slowly. Zai--to--ku--kai...Zai--to--ku--kai.

It always ends with a falling diphthong sound mirroring the fall of nationalism in Japan after World War II. Right Wing groups are a shadow of their former selves. They would be more relevant wearing clown noses and spraying silly string in the air.  But they do piss people off. Yesterday they pissed off the 50 police focusing on Taiji.

Last season the police looked silly when they couldn't move a meditating Cove Guardian zen master. The police held a multi-day training seminar for a battalion of uniformed and undercover detectives. This season the Japanese police were overwhelmed by a ragtag group of Japanese bullies. There is only one way to go for next year: more preparation.

If the Taiji establishment decides to continue to murder dolphins, Cove Guardians will be back and better funded than ever before. This means that the security expenses to the local economy will soon outweigh the cost of the hunt. Who will look silly then?

Thank you Zaitokukai! 

The Japanese nationalists have made themselves part of the problem. The Cove Guardians are clearly part of the solution.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Erwin Vermeulen: Not only legally free

Scott West (L) shakes hands with Erwin Vermeulen
By Steven Thompson
March 6, 2012

Erwin Vermeulen won his case in court two weeks ago on February 22, 2012. Yet one question remained: would the prosecutor exercise her right to appeal? She had two weeks to do so...she waited the full two weeks to announce.

The Wakayama prosecutor's office confirms that Erwin is not only legally free, he is also morally, ethically, spiritually, physically, positively, absolutely, undeniably and reliably FREE.

Thank you Erwin for your Dolphin Disobedience. Enjoy your time in America. You deserve it!

Dolphin lovers dance!
Pirates take the chance!
There is still so far to advance.

First, Erwin's lawyers will decide how to advance the case against his accuser for forcing Erwin to be in jail for 64 days based on a lie. This will be news that will be ongoing.

Second, there are still six Cove Guardian volunteers in Taiji getting up every morning facing a large police presence. This may be the year that dolphin lovers occupy year round! But this is far from certain. Please help make it happen. Please donate and earmark for Taiji.

Sea Shepherd Campaign Coordinator, Melissa Sehgal, reports from Taiji today that all killing boat activities are still being monitored everyday. All captive dolphins are also monitored in every location, especially the sick dolphin in the harbor pen, Harbie, being tube fed every day. I hope she is given better medical attention and then freed with all the other dolphins locked up there.

Finally, are you looking to add your effort to the cause? Watch the Cove and contact those responsible for killing the dolphins. Go to Taiji or support someone who can. Thank you all for caring.