Breaking: US Citizen Harassed by Japanese Nationalists at the Cove

On Sept. 11, 2016, Dolphin Project Cove Monitor Daniela Moreno was stalked by a Japanese Nationalist Group for taking pictures at the cove in Taiji, Japan. Moreno, who is alone in Taiji documenting the annual dolphin drives, was subjected to repeated aggressive and threatening gestures by Japanese Nationalists.

Once this nationalist realized he was being filmed, he covered his face.

Once this nationalist realized he was being filmed, he covered his face.

Local police, who advised Moreno to remain in her car, attempted to act as a buffer between the angry Nationalists and the Dolphin Project Cove Monitor, yet Moreno was still forced to endure almost an hour of intimidation. At one point, one individual opened her car door, hit the vehicle and screamed, “Yankee — get out!”

Japanese Nationalists with loudspeakers stalk Cove Monitor Daniela Moreno.

Japanese Nationalists with loudspeakers stalk Cove Monitor Daniela Moreno.

At first, the Nationalists were unmasked, but after realizing their actions were being aired live around the world, they donned uniforms and face coverings.

This second Japanese Nationalist donned military-style clothing after he realized he was being filmed.

This second Japanese Nationalist donned military-style clothing after he realized he was being filmed.

Moreno has a visa to be in Japan and is not breaking any laws. Local law enforcement should know that stalking is illegal in Japan. Making obscene gestures is also illegal, and yet the perpetrator/s were not arrested or charged. Moreno meanwhile, displayed uncommon class, restraint, and strength under fire, and we are happy to report that she is safe and will continue her vigilance for the dolphins.

“As a U.S. citizen she has a right to be there and stalking is a serious crime in Japan,” said Ric O’Barry, Founder/Director of the Dolphin Project. “We question why the police are allowing them to do this.”

Daniela Moreno will be pressing charges against the criminals involved.

Dolphin Project will be on the ground in Taiji during the entire killing season, live streaming, blogging and disseminating information for the world to see. Your support has never been more crucial and is greatly appreciated.

Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project is a non-profit charitable organization, dedicated to the welfare and protection of dolphins worldwide. Founded by Richard (Ric) O’Barry on Earth Day, April 22, 1970, the mission of the Dolphin Project is to end dolphin exploitation and slaughter, as dolphins are routinely captured, harassed, slaughtered and sold into captivity around the world – all in the name of profit.

Every year from approximately September 1 to March 1, a notoriously cruel hunt of some of the most sentient and sensitive creatures on the planet takes place in Taiji, Japan, made famous by the 2009 Academy award-winning movie “The Cove.” During this period, fisherman, or more appropriately, dolphin hunters, “drive” the mammals to their capture or deaths via means of physical violence and acoustic torture.

Dolphin Project is the only organization to have been on the ground in Taiji since 2003. We have revolutionized live streaming and broadcast throughout the entire season.

Dolphin Project works not only to halt these slaughters but also to rehabilitate captive dolphins, investigate and advocate for economic alternatives to dolphin slaughter exploitation and to put a permanent end to dolphin captivity.  This work has been chronicled in films such as, ‘A Fall From Freedom,’ the Oscar-winning documentary ‘The Cove,’ and in the Animal Planet mini-series, ‘Blood Dolphin$.’

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About Elizabeth Batt

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Elizabeth is a freelance writer, a former large animal nurse and a former certified NREMT. She is passionate about the ocean and its inhabitants and her work focuses on cetacean-related issues, including captive whales and dolphins. She graduated in psychology and sociology and lives with her family in beautiful northwestern Montana.

Author: Elizabeth Batt
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