- Jacques RoggePresident, International Olympic Committee
Jacques Rogge and the International Olympic Committee: Challenge Japan to END Taiji Dolphin Hunt for Tokyo 2020 Olympic bid
We respectfully ask that you do NOT consider Japan's Tokyo 2020 Olympic bid, until the Japanese Government agrees to end the brutal Taiji Dolphin Drive Hunt. by making it illegal to hunt Dolphins in Japan. If Tokyo wants the honour of being an Olympic Host City, Japan must be held accountable for allowing fishermen in Taiji to continue this unnecessary annual dolphin hunt in the name of tradition. Since 2009 there has been a worldwide outcry condemning this barbaric and outdated hunt. Still, in 2013, Japan refuses to address and discontinue this annual slaughter. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) cannot ignore this.
This is Japan's 5th Olympic bid, since their 1964 Olympics. They are very eager to be selected as Host City again to boost their economy after the devastating tsunami & Fukushima nuclear disaster. By challenging Tokyo's 2020 Olympic bid, it's a demonstration that the world is condemning the actions of this hunt and offers support to people within Japan who also strive to end this practice once and for all. Japanese Government grant permits to the Taiji Fishermen's Union to hunt 2,800 dolphins from September to April for slaughter & to supply the captivity trade. While this is not illegal in Japan, the hunt has been condemned internationally as barbaric. Despite claims that the killing is swift & 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, with prime specimens selling for ¥800,000 in Japan, but much more abroad. Captives are initially held in cove sea pens, while buyers are found, starved & traumatised, 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" If the IOC does not challenge this atrocity during their visit to Tokyo on the 4th of March 2013 & the selection process continues, it will be perceived that by ignoring this, the IOC are actually endorsing the hunt. If Tokyo's bid is announced as the winning bid on the 7th of September 2013. 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, will eventually be driven to extinction. The International Olympic Committee have the opportunity to make real changes in Taiji Japan, 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 I condone boycotting Japan, nor do I incite hatred, violence or negativity towards Japanese citizens.
- President, International Olympic Committee
Challenge Japan to END Taiji Dolphin Hunt for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Bid
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