Yoko Ono’s Open Letter to Taiji
Read Yoko Ono’s complete open letter to the Taiji ‘fishermen’:
Dear Japanese Fishermen of Taiji,
I understand how you must feel about the one-sided-ness of the West to be angry at your traditional capture and slaughter of Dolphins. But that tradition was made only when the world, and Japanese Fishermen did not know what it meant to do harm to the Dolphins. I’m sure you have heard so many speeches in which all of these things have been discussed. So I will not bore you with it.
But I think you should think of this situation from the point-of-view of the big picture. Japan has gone through such hard times lately. And we need the sympathy and help of the rest of the world. It will give an excuse for big countries and their children in China, India and Russia to speak ill of Japan when we should be communicating our strong love for peace, not violence.
I am sure that it is not easy, but please consider the safety of the future of Japan, surrounded by many powerful countries which are always looking for the chance to weaken the power of our country. The future of Japan and its safety depends on many situations, but what you do with Dolphins now can create a very bad relationship with the whole world.
The way you are insisting on a big celebration of killing so many Dolphins and kidnapping some of them to sell to the zoos and restaurants at this very politically sensitive time, will make the children of the world hate the Japanese.
For many, many years and decades we have worked hard to receive true understanding of the Japanese from the world. And, because of our effort, Japan is now respected as a country of good power and ingenuity. This did not happen without our efforts of many decades.
But what we enjoy now, can be destroyed literally in one day. I beg of you to consider our precarious situation after the nuclear disaster (which could very well effect the rest of the world, as well).
Please use political tact and cancel the festival which will be considered by the rest of the world as a sign of Japanese arrogance, ignorance, and love for an act of violence.
Yoko Ono Lennon
20 January 2014
cc Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Please help in any way you can! We need your continuing help to end the Taiji dolphin hunts.
Contact and ask them to release the dolphins in Taiji and Angel with his mother and end the dolphin hunts:
The Hon. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister, Japan
Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae
Embassy of Japan in the United States
2520 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W
Washington DC 20008
Tel: 202-238-6700, Fax: 202-328-2187
Dr. Gerald Dick, Executive Director
World Association of Zoos and Aquariums
WAZA Executive Office
IUCN Conservation Centre
Rue Mauverney 28
- Happy 47th Birthday Dolphin Project! - April 18, 2017
- BREAKING: Taiji’s Drive Season Over - February 28, 2017
- 2016: What A Year It Was! - December 15, 2016
- Dolphin Sabbatical Project: A Social Experiment for Captive Dolphins - June 17, 2016
- Statement on Morgan by Ric O’Barry - June 9, 2016
- Op Ed: Is it Okay to Go Back to SeaWorld? - March 31, 2016
- Addressing the Confusion about Angel - March 26, 2016
- Exclusive: Message from Ric O’Barry - February 8, 2016
- What Will 2016 Hold For Dolphins? - December 15, 2015
- The Finland Four - November 28, 2015
Ric O’Barry, Dolphin Project Founder & Director has worked on both sides of the captive dolphin issue, making him an invaluable asset in the efforts to end exploitation. He worked for 10 years within the dolphin captivity industry, and has spent the past 40 working against it.
In the 1960s, O’Barry was employed by the Miami Seaquarium, where he captured and trained dolphins, including the five dolphins who played the role of Flipper in the popular American TV-series of the same name. He also trained Hugo, the first orca kept in captivity east of the Mississippi. When Kathy, the dolphin who played Flipper most of the time, died in his arms, O’Barry realized that capturing dolphins and training them to perform silly tricks is simply wrong.
From that moment on, O’Barry knew what he must do with his life. On the first Earth Day, 1970, he launched a searing campaign against the multi-billion dollar dolphin captivity industry and has been going at it ever since.
Over the past 40 years, Ric O’Barry has rescued and rehabilitated dolphins in many countries around the world, including Haiti, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Brazil, the Bahamas Islands and the United States. He is a leading voice in the fight to end brutal dolphin hunts in Japan, the Solomon Islands, the Faroe Islands, and wherever else they occur.
O’Barry has been recognized by many national and international entities for his dedicated efforts, such as being voted Huffington Post’s 2010 Most Influential Green Game Changer, and being listed on O Magazine’s 2010 Power List – Men We Admire for his “Power of Passion.” O’Barry received an Environmental Achievement Award, presented by the United States Committee for the United Nations Environmental Program. He has done countless interviews with such prestigious news programs as Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper 360, the Mike Huckabee Show, and the Oprah Winfrey Show.
His book Behind the Dolphin Smile was published in 1989; a second book, To Free A Dolphin was published in September 2000. Both of them are about his work and dedication. He is the star of the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove and the Animal Planet television series Blood Dolphin$.
- Multiple Species of Dolphins Decimated in The Cove
- Taiji to Unite with Faroese in Sister City Agreement
- Terror in The Cove as Pilot Whales Slaughtered
- Migrating Family of Risso’s Dolphins Slaughtered in The Cove
- When Natural Disasters and Captive Cetaceans Collide
- The Path to Progress Begins with Education