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'The Cove' won't be shown at Tokyo movie theater after outcry from Japanese nationalists


TOKYO — A movie theater in Tokyo decided against showing the dolphin-hunt documentary "The Cove" after nationalist pressure and warnings of protests, the distributor said Thursday.

In recent months, activists have protested and screamed slogans outside the Tokyo office of the Japanese distributor, Unplugged, alleging that support for the film signals betrayal of Japanese pride.

Theater N Shibuya was scheduled to start showing the film June 26. Unplugged said the theater changed its mind after getting deluged with angry telephone calls and being warned that screenings would be met with protests.

The American movie that won the Academy Award for documentary this year shows undercover footage of the dolphin hunt in a Japanese village and documents efforts by Ric O'Barry, a former trainer for the "Flipper" TV series, to stop the slaughter of dolphins for food.

Takeshi Kato of Unplugged said he remained determined to show the film, and talks will continue with other theaters.

"This is definitely not an anti-Japanese film," he said in a statement. "We believe it is necessary to carry out constructive discussion of the issue."

Most Japanese have never eaten dolphin meat. But some believe killing dolphins and whales is part of traditional culinary culture and resent the interference of outsiders focused on species protection.

Obarry "The Cove" screened at the Tokyo International Film Festival in October and at smaller events in Japan but has yet to open to the Japanese public. The Japanese version blurs the faces of some people on screen, such as fishermen, to lessen the possibility of trouble.

In April, the U.S. Air Force Yokota Air Base, west of Tokyo, canceled a screening at its on-base theater to show sensitivity to local culture.

O'Barry said the film needs to be shown, so that word would spread and Japanese would want the hunts stopped.

"Why are they so scared about the truth of the dolphin slaughter getting out?" he said in an e-mail Thursday. "Because they know that the massive dolphin slaughter is indefensible -- tragically cruel -- scientifically unsupportable."

Tests show residents in dolphin-hunting village in 'The Cove' have elevated mercury levels
In Taiji, Japan, fishermen in the Cove are still killing dolphins (guest post by Ric O'Barry)

-- Yuri Kageyama, Associated Press

Top photo: Japanese right-wing demonstrators protest outside the office of Unplugged on April 9. Credit: Koji Sasahara / Associated Press

Bottom photo: O'Barry holds a sign directing Academy Award viewers to "The Cove's" text-messaging awareness campaign as director Louie Psihoyos accepts the Oscar for best feature-length documentary on March 7. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

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The protesters are from the conservative Tokyo citizens’ group Shuken Kaifuku wo Mezasu Kai (The Society to Seek Restoration of Sovereignty). The same racist Japanese group is also well known for:

-Holding "anti-foreigner" protests with signs like "Japan is not a WHITE country."

-Supporting whaling and calling all criticism of the industry "anti-Japanese".

-Openly denying Japan's war crimes during WWII such as the brutal enslavement of Korean "comfort women" (the group stated the comfort women were actually paid prostitutes and that anti-Japanese westerners made up stories about the horrors inflicted upon them)

-Supporting domestic violence against women claiming laws protecting women were motivated by "radical feminism".

These are the people who support whaling in Japan and they don't want the rest of the Japanese public to see "The Cove".

The Japanese who is angry at this movie is not afraid that the actual situation of the dolphin fishing becomes open.

I label it one-sidedly without I am temporizing, and hearing a method and the story of the local person that I photographed by an unfair method called the sneak shot directly on the sly and, in the way that made a movie by selfish interpretation, feel anger.

In Europe and America, is there the young dove food eating a calf and a lamb? If you take Sheen massacring them secretly and made a movie with slaughter and a method to be able to see one-sidedly, how do you feel it?

It is a mean discrimination act to win to push selfish sense of values to a Japanese and the other countries and can think that it is an outcome of the arrogance of Westerners.

An Australian has good massacre to thin out kangaroos as a harmful animal, and, for a fisherman, will the act to thin out dolphins eating too much a fish in large quantities be prohibited?

I'm from Japan. I took part in the protest activities against the screening of "The Cove" actually. Because I reached a clear conclusion that "The Cove" is obviously anti-Japanese propaganda on the pretext of anti-whaling as a result of watching this movie (full length) on free video site. “THE COVE” looks at Japanese whaling from a one-sided point of view. “THE COVE” takes a self-righteous and intrusive attitude. And more, "The Cove" violates human rights of the Japanese fishermen who engage in slaughtering dolphins in Taiji Wakayama Japan.

Do you know where the nearest slaughterhouse to your town is? If you have a moment, please visit there. Can you get permission to take photos of slaughtering cattle(the moment of killing them) and workers' faces? It is impossible at least in Japan. The slaughtering (killing) section is called "untouchable world" in a social activity everywhere around the world. However, Louie Psihoyos, director of "The Cove" didn't give any consideration to human-rights of the Japanese fishermen (because they are Japanese). This is racial discrimination against the Japanese people in obvious.

Do you think the Japanese society should accept "The Cove"? Freedom of expression? Rights to know? It is natural that we Japanese should protect our right to exist from racist.

This movie's director performed protest of the whaling in front of in-Korea Japanese Embassy.
He went to the anti-Japan nation and performed an anti-Japan campaign.
He says that "it is not an anti-Japan movie".
American all of you, is it believed?

Under the influence of this movie,Japanese graves in Australia was destroyed. It is a fact.




Show your flag, LA Times!
If you support 'The Cove', you yourself should promote it in Japan.
Otherwise, LA Times must be called hypocritic agitator.

I've seen "The Cove" and it is not an "anti-Japanese" movie.

In fact, the makers of the film clearly believe that the people of Japan will watch the film and with the information presented make a logical decision to call for an end to whaling and dolphin drive hunts.

It is certainly not "anti-Japanese". It's an expression of faith in the good people of Japan to recognize the inherent cruelty and health risks in slaughtering and consuming dolphins.

The film is giving the people of Japan, through the freedom of information, an opportunity to decide for themselves whether or not what happens at "The Cove" is acceptable.

The makers of the Cove believe the informed people of Japan are good and wise enough to decide to save whales and dolphins rather than kill and consume them. How is that "anti-Japanese"?

Why does’t “The Cove” inform that the American fishermen slaughter the dolphins?
Some Japanese (not all) make a dolphin food. But the American fishermen only throws away dolphins.
This movie is not a documentary film.But it’s only an entertainment movie like “Kawaguchi- exploration party” (which was very famous in Japan).
So,we Japanese are laughing at the anti-Japan movie(not documentary film) and it’s supporters.


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