Asahi TV… The Truth

On Saturday night, Japanese news broadcaster Asahi TV aired a news story about the Taiji Dolphin Slaughter on Japanese television. Over the course of the last few months, the reporter that covered the story was well renowned in Taiji for reporting as someone who is ‘pro dolphin hunting’, although she continued to tell us she was in fact neutral, in order for us to be interviewed on camera. We asked numerous times for her name, however she refused to give it…

As we expected, the news coverage was extremely ‘pro dolphin hunt’, and of course showed Sea Shepherd under a very negative light. The news story went on to tell the Japanese public of how the dolphin slaughter is a tradition of Japanese culture and showed images of the fishermen of Taiji happily eating raw dolphin meat right after having butchered the animals… in the same video, it depicts the reporter exclaiming of how beautiful the captive dolphins are, as well as trying raw dolphin meat for herself…

During the last few days of her stay, we ran into the reporter one last time, on the 13th of January, 2011…
Some of you who have been following my blogs, Facebook and videos may remember the 13th of January as one of the most brutal, inhumane and absolutely sickening days in Taiji this season. On this day, four Striped dolphins were left to slowly die on sharp, jagged rocks as the fishermen were busy butchering their families… These dolphins were knowingly left by the fishermen for over an hour in absolute agony- blood pouring out of their heavily lacerated bodies.

To this day, I have never had to witness anything so brutal, inhumane and downright traumatising- I could not believe that the fishermen could have left these dolphins there in plain view for so long… Now, nothing surprises me when it comes to their disconcertion for inhumane acts.

When I heard about what was going on from another Cove Guardian, I raced up to Glenda’s Hill… After filming the last 15 minutes of the four dolphins’ ordeal before they themselves were dragged into the killing cove, there were no words to describe what we were feeling… I saw grown men cry on top of that hill that morning- I myself could not hold back the tears, as they streamed down my face as I buried my head in my hands. I could not fathom man’s cruelty that morning. The worst part being that there was absolutely nothing we could have done to help the dolphins without being arrested and deported from Japan instantly.

After we tried to compose ourselves, we walked back down to the cove, where other Cove Guardians were waiting to hear about what we saw… I sat down next to Libby and cried on her shoulder. Normally you try and allow yourself to become numb while at the cove during the slaughter- but that day, I could not hold back- along with the dozen or so people who were also wiping away tears…

Metres away, the Asahi TV reporter had seen me crying on Libby’s shoulder, and saw it as a perfect opportunity to approach us Cove Guardians, in order to get some more footage for her news story… I’m sure footage of a teenage girl in tears after having seen dolphins that had been suffering in anguish for an hour would surely be great to somehow twist into her story.

She approached us with her cameraman by her side, and tried to ask us questions. Before this, we had been making an effort to refrain from interviews, as we knew how they would be twisted- we politely declined her requests when asked for an interview. With her departure from Taiji only a few days away (January 16th), it seemed as though she was very persistent to gain footage of us. After one of the boys repeatedly, but politely let her know that “This is not a good time”, she kept harassing us for some kind of reaction.

I knew that she wanted footage of me due to me being upset at what I had just witnessed, so instead of being aggressive or hostile and asking her to leave- I instead asked her to watch the footage that I had just captured on my camera… She was reluctant at first, but as soon as she saw what was on my camera, she watched transfixed on it. I told her politely that this (the dolphins that were suffering) is where her real story lies, and that she has the power of media to help stop the slaughter.

After watching the footage, I told her I have just one question for her- “Did this upset you?”… She hesitated for a moment, and said that she would only answer ‘off the record’. After a few minutes, she said that ‘Yes, it is sad’… She told us that she used to be an animal researcher, and has seen slaughters of animals all over the world- she described one event where she had watched many Elephants being slaughtered, telling us it was very sad.

Once the cameras were rolling once again, she continued in her ruthless questioning of the Cove Guardians- many along the lines of “How much are you being paid to be here in Taiji?” We quickly decided that it was not worth our time, because she was there to do a job- to report negatively on Sea Shepherd Conservation Society… we got up and left, politely overlooking her continued questions as she followed us to our car.

I have seen the news program, and although it does show Sea Shepherd in a bad light- it does allow for the Japanese public to become aware of the slaughter, and will hopefully prompt many to educate themselves on the truth about what happens here.

Although it is a huge shame that the Japanese media seem determined to show animal activists in a negative light, I know I saw some truth and compassion when the reporter turned her cameras off. She told us that she believes that the dolphin slaughter is sad, and in those words, I find hope in the wider Japanese community to feel the same. In those words, I know that the dolphin slaughter will end, regardless of what the media in Japan transmit. People of Japan will find out the truth eventually, it is just disappointing that a media outlet that can create so much change is instead defending one of the most barbaric acts committed upon animals in the 21st century… all because it generates a profit.

Here is a video of our conversation with the reporter, as you can expect, most of this footage was convieniently ‘left out’ of the news broadcast…

Below is the full video I captured that morning up on that hill… The reporter could not withstand to watch it all… can you?

If you want to stand up and help us end the slaughter: Please help us put pressure upon the Japanese government and embassys worldwide- let them know that you oppose the slaughter by calling and emailing. Also, please become involved in my ‘Youth Project’ and tell your friends! Or send me an email if you wish to get more involved…
To become a Cove Guardian, please email Libby at:
coveguardian@seashepherd.org

Don’t forget to keep sending in your questions to pathtoprotect@hotmail.com for me to answer in my video blogs! (I will be filming another video blog tomorrow! Sorry it’s been a little while guys..)

You can follow my videos here on this blogpage (which I will continue to update every day) as well as my Youtube Channel
Also, don’t forget to add me as a friend on Facebook if you haven’t yet- for regular updates, photos, information and videos from the Cove.

Thankyou everyone for your continued support, and positive feedback! We all really appreciate it!
On the path to protect,
Nicole.

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4 comments

  1. It is impossible to divert the route of dolphins with sound devices before they reach in japanese areas?
    Last year, in Denmark, in the Faroe Islands, this method worked. The members of the Sea Shepherd installed these sound devices and diverted the route of many dolphins.
    This can not be done to prevent the slaughter in Taiji, too?

    Dra. Michelle Mori – Sea Shepherd SP-BRAZIL.

  2. Despite the bad reporting, I hope that the Japanese people who watched the report will research this for themselves. It’s time for the public to wake up to what is really happening.

  3. Hello! I saw the Asahi TV program about Taiji. SS is shown in a negative light due to the fact their actions, words and attitude are negative. For example, the lady from SS asking the Japanese man in the truck if he spoke spanish and Scott West saying, “It’s fun!” when asked why SS persisted in “bullying” the fishermen of Taiji. Statements like this, as well as SS’s actions in other videos posted on YOUTUBE, is why people have a negative view of SS. From what I have seen SS’s actions have only served to alienate the people of Japan.

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