Earth Island Institute and the Save Japan Dolphins Campaign are heading back to Taiji, Japan Wednesday Sept. 1st, 2010 to celebrate “Dolphin Day”.
September 1st marks the beginning of the annual six-month dolphin kill and Save Japan Dolphins Campaign Director Ric O’Barry has made a pledge to return to Taiji to keep our eyes on this tragic situation. Rather than protest, our goal is to deliver a positive message of support for the many good things that are possible in Taiji. We support efforts to develop sustainable eco-tourism for Taiji and the surrounding area. Eco-tourism provides jobs, and in many places around the world there is a growing recognition of the value and importance of living dolphins and whales offshore. Imagine if instead of allowing a small group of Taiji fisherman to continue the dolphin kill, Taiji residents took the public on dolphin and whale watching cruises.
Nantucket in America’s New England was once a whaling town, but now thrives as a vacation resort that attracts people from all over the US. We hope Taiji can find alternatives to end the annual drive hunts for dolphins and the sale of mercury-laden dolphin meat to the public.
So pack your bags! Taiji is beautiful at this time of year. Plan to spend some time in this coastal resort town and countryside. Bring your family and your friends to share this experience. There are plenty of opportunities for walking and hiking, boating, several historic temples and religious shrines nearby.
We have no specific plans for the day, except to show up and enjoy the National Park at the Cove. Bring a picnic lunch and expect to spend the day on the gravel beach. As emphasized above, there is no protest and we will avoid any confrontations.
We are also working on plans for a Peace March to be conducted over the historic pilgrims trail into Taiji. This is a very strenuous walk that will require advance preparation. More details will be available soon about this event.
Please contact us if you think you will be able to join us. We will try to assist with information on travel directions and options. Emails should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you know of anyone in Japan who you think should learn about our activities in Japan, please let us know!
There are many daily flights into the Japanese airports of Tokyo (Narita Airport) and Osaka. Tokyo is about 6-7 hours by train to Taiji. Osaka is about 5-6 hours by train to Taiji. You might want to arrive early in Japan for a few days before September. 1st to get over your jet lag and adjust to local time.
You can check train schedules here.
Maps of Japan and other tourist information here.
A Note of Caution:
We are gathering in Taiji to express support for the many people in Japan and throughout the world who want to see an end to the dolphin slaughter and trade. This will be a peaceful, quiet celebration of nature. We will be not be demonstrating or displaying signs of protest. It has been reported that Nationalist groups supporting a continuation of the dolphin kill will show up in Taiji on September 1st. They have been active against The Cove movie, intimidating theaters and film distributors. We do not intend any confrontation whatsoever. The Wakayama police have always acted in a professional manner and will be on hand.
We cannot be responsible for your travel, accommodations, or safety due to all of the unknown factors in this situation.
We look forward to your help and support for the Save Japan Dolphins Campaign.