This is a reply#1 sent from Ric O'Barry. (My relpy to Ric follows this letter)
Sorry to say that I respectfully disagree regarding your opinion about SJD having no effect in Taiji. The fact that SJD Monitors were in Taiji is the ONLY reason TIME, New York Times, Washington Post and more than 200 international newspapers covered the story of the annual dolphin slaughter resuming on September 1st. Those international publications serve to educate the world about this urgent issue. Many of those who are already educated demonstrated against the dolphin slaughter in more than 109 cities around the Planet. Having a few multi-national, independent witnesses with cameras in Taiji has proven to be very helpful. The challenge is to do it in a respectful and effective manner.
I agree with you about the Japanese activists in Taiji being "interpreted" as puppets for Westerners. I can promise you that it's not true. The perception is the result of the few local Journalists who come to Taiji to support the dolphin hunters. You must know how the media works (or does not work) in Japan, especially in Wakayama prefecture.
In any case, we want to support your work in Tokyo. Our support for the good work you do in Tokyo should not be interpreted as you organization being a puppet organization for SJD or Dolphin Project.
Equally respectfully, I thank you for confirming my point: It seems to me that you only keep in mind overseas media, not Japanese one. How many Japanese newspapers ran the story, and how many Japanese people were influenced by them? The effect of articles in "more than 200 international newspapers" on the situation in Taiji and in Tokyo has been nil. And business as usual.
Have you any evidence that the clamor abroad has affected the situation inside Japan? Though more information may be reaching the overseas media, the people with cameras in Taiji merely serve to strengthen local opposition. But they do not express themselves in English, or even in public.
People knows a lot of overseas activist get together in the small town Taiji, and made an JDD event in September. But the overseas presence in Taiji isn't working as we might hope. (How many years has it been, now?) To change the situation in Japan we need to get attention in Japan, and in Japanese.
Perhaps overseas activists can get more positive attention in Tokyo. There are certainly more people there to contact, in greater density, and a greater portion of them are already open to your ideas. We had hoped that we Action for Marine Mammals (AMM) might provide not only human resources but a Japanese perspective in order to make the campaign more effective. I hope we will cross the fences between organizations and the walls between nations in Tokyo. Our solidarity and unity will change the situation.
Yesterday was Satoshi Komiyama’s birthday, the representative of "Flippers Japan". I sent him a birthday message, as he is still a good friend of mine.
We founded "Action for Marine Mammals (AMM)" together in Tokyo last September for the purpose of liberating cetaceans. He was the leader and I was the sub-leader when we formed the organization.
Last winter Kiki Tanaka became a member of AMM. However, suddenly this April Kiki and Satoshi suggested disbanding the organization. I suppose Satoshi is very much influenced by Kiki and decided to form a pro-SJD organization in Japan. He seems to love dolphins very much, but not so much whales.
I strongly opposed his suggestion because whales should not be distinguished from dolphins, a sentiment you also expressed in the movie "The Cove".
So Kiki and Satoshi left AMM, and I became the representative this April.
If he destroys AMM there will be NO organization working for whales in Japan.
I think that the photo of the crying Japanese man, Satoshi, in the water with you holding him may serve to make Satoshi look like a puppet member of your Dolphin Project. I do not see this inspiring Japanese. And it is no good at all for Japanese activism in the future.
I would appreciate your thoughts on this Ric.