Celebrities want to tie TPP trade pact with Japan to dolphin hunt

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  • 28

    Brainiac

    I wonder how many of those celebrities come to Japan to promote their movies.

  • 14

    CajunH2O

    Note to self. Ignore anything from these celebrities.

  • 7

    JoeBigs

    I hold the killing of these animals to be a sad thing.

    The only way to change anything in a nation is for the people of that nation to change their minds.

    If these celebs actually believe that governments will follow what they want when it comes to trade they are mistaken.

    If this tactic had any weight Tibet would have been freed years ago, but it has not been, it is still occupied.

  • 0

    hidingout

    Definitely the Top Story of the day. Well done JT.

    Sean Penn ... lol.

  • -6

    Disillusioned

    If William Shatner supports it there must be truth to it! - Sadly, the Japanese defense of this barbaric practice is economics and culture. It seems quite fitting to make economic sanctions that will effect the culture to get them to ban this.

  • 2

    Mizuame

    We won't sign the TPP that will allow US auto, insurance and pharmaceutical companies a much bigger share of the Japanese market unless Taiji stops killing dolphins!!!

  • -9

    stalingrad2014

    That was a very good idea indeed, thank you!

  • 9

    dcog9065

    Their intentions are fair, but it would be far better for Japan to ban these hunts themselves, rather than be forced to by international trade sanctions.

  • 0

    Reckless

    I'm with Captain Kirk and Cher on this one,,, beam me up Scotti!

  • 2

    House Atreides

    This definately needs doing, as it isn't tradition at all, how can something that didn't start until 1969 be a tradition.

    1969? People in Japan have been eating whale and dolphin meat in Japan since the Jomon era (14,500 B.C. to 3000 B.C.).

    The other historical evidence can be found among the objects excavated from shell mounds. Shell mounds have been found all over Japan and provide much information about ancient people's diets. They contain bones of deer, wild boars, whales, dolphins, sea lions, fur seals and so on. This indicates that the people of the Jomon period ate whales.

    The Jomon Japanese were hunting sea mammals with toggle-head harpoons.

    Toggle-head harpoons, a later innovation, facilitated the hunting of sea mammals. Attaching a line to the toggle allowed the hunter to draw in his prey once the toggle had broken away from the harpoon shaft.

    http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1975.268.333-345

  • 9

    Pandabelle

    Just to be super picky - Shatner is Canadian, Theron is South African.

    Considering there are a lot of people in Japan who are already anti-TPP, this sort of effort may backfire on these celebrities and cause Japan to withdraw from the talks. Valid criticism or not, this kind of external pressure tactic rarely works well in Japan.

  • 16

    DJDon

    I agree with PapigiulioWhy is Japan the only country being put on the spotlight for this? There's also another country who does this.

  • -9

    Reckless

    It doesn't matter if the Japanese have been eating dolphins since the first day the Lord created this glorious Earth. It is wrong and barbaric to kill dolphins!

  • 8

    budgie

    Tie TPP to Dolphin amnesty? LoL, The LDP will never allow it. Good way to sink TPP in Japan.

  • 2

    tinawatanabe

    Japan would leave the TPP table if President demand a thing like that. Those celebrities visit Japan's elementary schools with dolphin books, and teach them how cute they are. That might work.

  • 4

    fishy

    Those dolphin hunters are saying it's their tradition but in reality, I wonder how many of them actually hunt because it's their tradition, I bet it's because there are no other jobs available in their village. If Japanese government worked to create more jobs in that area, I don't think those dolphin hunters would resist this much. They need a job to feed their families, they need money to support their families - if they had more options, I don't think their first choice would be to kill dolphins. They are not evil people, they are trying to survive.

  • 5

    ssenipah

    1969? People in Japan have been eating whale and dolphin meat in Japan since the Jomon era (14,500 B.C. to 3000 B.C.).

    and they had hoards of Honda powered canoes to catch baby dolphins to sell to the Flintstones Aquariums.

  • -1

    tinawatanabe

    **The thing is, Japan can't afford to.

    Yes, they can. TPP is already on the verge of collapse anyway. Japan's economy is picking up, and would provide potentially huge markets for not just US but EU or UK. Don't forget J people have savings not debts.

  • 10

    Wakarimasen

    The trivialisation of almost every issue by the involvement of "celebrities" is a symptom of cultural decline.

  • 6

    House Atreides

    ssenipah said: and they had hoards of Honda powered canoes to catch baby dolphins to sell to the Flintstones Aquariums

    Honda powered? Look at the photo. They're using Mercury engines.

    Mercury Marine, founded in 1939, is a division of Brunswick of Lake Forest, Illinois, in the United States.

    It looks like we found a town in Japan that buys American. How ironic.

  • -2

    Lola Carvajal

    The real reason they hunt those dolphins is that THEY EAT ALL THE FISH the fishermen fish to make their incomes!!!!!!!! GEEZ, people...... since when it's OK to be passing judgment without knowing the real story????? i would do THE VERY SAME THING if i were a fisherman and some animal was eating all the fish i catch to sell and feed my family, be dolphins or whatever other animal, i would shoot it on sight!!!!!!! and yes, as someone said here ... NOTE TO SELF : BAN THESE STUPID CELEBRITIES FROM MY TV AND BOYCOTT EVERYTHING THEY ARE IN.

  • 5

    warispeace

    They should tie the TPP to global capitalits' exploitative hunt for the cheapest labour and worst working conditions. Only once they ban this hunt should trade pacts be supported.

  • 0

    CH3CHO

    "Should human compassion not be afforded the same privilege as business interests?" the letter stated.

    Well said. The only reason they can find is compassion. They think every people in the world should have compassion for dolphins. I do not. Why can they force me?

    bilderberg_2015Feb. 06, 2014 - 02:23PM JST

    Ah, unlike Japan, actors and celebrities in the US are free to express their views without recrimination. If someone like Kattori Shingo or Koyuki were to oppose the Taiji hunt their agency would likely receive anonymous threats and their contracts would dry up

    Best comment of the day. Spot on.

    Celebrities need patrons.

  • 5

    HokkaidoKuma

    If I'm not mistaking, I was under the impression that a lot of Japanese citizens already oppose TPP.

  • 0

    jojotoday

    These Americans underestimate the pride of the Japanese.

  • 1

    Damien15

    "I wonder how many of those celebrities come to Japan to promote their movies."

    It doesn't matter. This should not be taken as an attack. Those celebrities do not hate Japanese people. They will have no problem coming to Japan to promote their movies. They are simply protesting against what they see as very brutal treatment of sentinent beings that they love.

  • 0

    IparryU

    I am really surprised that they haven't changed the term "Dolphin Hunt" to "Dolphin Slaughter" yet. Sounds more dramatic... actors and what not. would catch on methinks.

  • -1

    rickyvee

    this is what happens when you become a celebrity. you think you can butt your nose into any issue and be taken seriously. sorry, but a bunch of dolphin-loving celebrities is not going to force the US president's hand when millions of dollars and thousands of jobs are at stake.

  • 0

    oldman_13

    Idiot celebrities, they should stick to making movies and keep their noses out of politics.

    What makes them think they are so special to demand anyone do anything.

  • -6

    tinawatanabe

    Those celebrities may be doing their professions for fun, but the Taiji villagers are hunting not for fun, but for food and to make honest livings. Please don't assume you can pressure them just because they are small people of the smaller country and you're the rich and famous of the bigger country.

  • 2

    hthomson72

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2014/02/01/editorials/defend-dolphins-not-a-tradition/#.UvM_7X__Rxs It's not JUST the US and rest of the world, Japan is turning on the dolphin-killers too! Hopefully this is the beginning of the end!!

  • 1

    wakawaka225

    Doesn't the TPP effect multiple countries? So basically you try to punish one country and instead punish all countries involved. Let them hunt Dolphins just in much much smaller amounts and more humane death.

  • -4

    smithinjapan

    JoeBiggs: "The only way to change anything in a nation is for the people of that nation to change their minds."

    And the only way to do that in Japan is to embarrass them on the world stage in a way that they cannot simply fall back on some "this is an attack on our culture" argument; ie. that also hurts the economy. This is one way. For, rest assured, if Japan does not join the TPP while other nations do, they will be left in the dust and begging to join in less than a decade.

  • 5

    BertieWooster

    Whatever, just DON'T sign the TPP agreement!

    TPP is poison!

  • -1

    Frungy

    Let's see, their "logic" is that they will solve the problem of Taiji's economic problems (which are the reason for the dolphin hunt).... by aiming to hurt Japan's economy.

    ... and this, ladies and gentlemen, is why we should ignore celebrities at all times. Following their logic would have half of Japan hunting dolphins before too long.

  • 5

    gogogo

    Do they think Japan desperately wants to sign the TPP or something?

  • -2

    letsberealistic

    BrainiacFEB. 06, 2014 - 01:23PM JST I wonder how many of those celebrities come to Japan to promote their movies.

    Um, what? Did I miss something? What has that got to do with anything?

    The more public pressure the better - power of the people.

  • -3

    igloobuyer

    Yep, 'power to the people' John Lennon would be way behind this.

  • 3

    House Atreides

    Simmons' letter said those signing don't oppose the TPP but seek to make stopping the dolphin hunt a key factor in negotiations.

    This will never happen. Just look at the list of trade advisers involved in the TPP.

    Much of the treaty's text is secret. Congress is almost completely shut out of the negotiations. But, as the WikiLeaks press release explained, "600 'trade advisers' - lobbyists guarding the interests of large U.S. corporations such as Chevron, Halliburton, Monsanto, and Walmart - are granted privileged access to crucial sections of the treaty text."

    Do they look like tree hugging environmental activist types? Are these companies known for affording human compassion "the same privilege as business interests?"

  • 2

    Knox Harrington

    Yep, the right thing to do. Damn, it would piss abekun off if he wouldn't be able to join because of this, holiest cultural traditions of Japan.

  • 8

    anbinh

    They can simply buy all the dolphins they want to rescue and release them in US waters!

  • 5

    Farmboy

    I think a lot of people in Japan would be happy to dump the TPP, dolphins or no dolphins.

  • -6

    smithinjapan

    Farmboy: "I think a lot of people in Japan would be happy to dump the TPP, dolphins or no dolphins."

    Yeah, the farmers who get HUGE government subsidies for a few bags of rice when they would lose out otherwise because they lack the competitive edge to survive without it. Meanwhile, we are left to pay WAY more than we would have to otherwise for rice and other products because we have no choice.

  • 5

    hidingout

    Whatever, just DON'T sign the TPP agreement! TPP is poison!

    Preach it Wooster! I so seldom get to say that being on the other side of almost every issue, but I'm totally with you here. TPP is just a way for America to extend its influence and the influence of the almighty greenback. Do not want.

    Japan should thank the (faded) Hollywood elite for handing them the perfect excuse to reject TPP.

    Sean Penn ... lol.

  • 2

    House Atreides

    aussie-musashi said: If these celebrities succeed on getting Obama to agree, then one of two things will happen.

    Except that it won't happen because the TPP is being spearheaded by companies like Halliburton and Monsanto. There's a reason why the TPP is being negotiated in secret. And what's Obama's angle in all this?

    But the TPP agreement is a key feature of the Obama administration's "Asia-Pivot," which is essentially an economic and military rebalancing to East Asia intended to threaten and therefore contain a rising China.

    The TPP is about containing China and furthering corporate interests. The Taiji hunts are about selling dolphins to dolphinariums in China. So really, it all revolves around China.

  • 2

    ssenipah

    The real reason they hunt those dolphins is that THEY EAT ALL THE FISH the fishermen fish to make their incomes!!!!!!!!

    That is the most idiotic statement you could use. And the silly fishermen use it as well. Which was first, dolphins or fishermen? Which is taking more than they can eat? How the hell can you blame a falling catch on declining numbers of dolphins and whales? If they were eating too many fish wouldn't their numbers be increasing?

  • 8

    B.B.Q.Demon

    The TPP is such a mishmash of exemptions that it's a joke. It will only help giant business. It won't help people. Tying it to Taiji would make a statement, but the whole TPP thing is just big business screwing us regular folks.

  • 1

    tamanegi

    Why is this news here but no where else? Slow news day?

  • 3

    slumdog

    Slow news day?

    Yeah, that must be what it is. A slow news days. But, wait. There 60 posts have been posted in this thread since this afternoon. Could it be that this is of interest to people and that is why it is here?

    Yes.

    My question is why people ask if it is a slow news day instead of just moving on to the next story if they do not find this one to their liking?

  • 3

    cl400

    Who cares if Japan signs the TPP or not. Well done celebrities for making the awful dolphin hunts more public. Hopefully more Japanese people will become aware of the cruelty in Taiji and help rally against it.

  • 3

    taiko666

    Back in 2005 when I was living in Nishi Ogikubo I spoke about Taiji to my Japanese, non-English speaking, down-to-earth friends and they were horrified, even saying it was all western propaganda and "we Japanese would never be so cruel to dolphins."

    Cue all the celebrity campaigns, films and international criticism, and now many of those friends support the hunt because they loathe gaiatsu: "Foreigners should keep out of our affairs." I think it might be the same situation with whaling.

    When you're dealing with Japan you have to be subtle and a skilled psychologist / negotiator. I can think of loads of metaphors but I'll leave at that for now... (a skill picked up in Japan!)

  • 1

    Bear27840

    So the means of the few out weighs the means of the many. In other words, what the few do condems the many.

    Just tell America that Japan is no longer a conquered nation it is free to decide it own course in the world.

  • -5

    tinawatanabe

    Listen, Do you think there is any country in the world who will drop it's legal practice just because a few foreign countries says so who is pushing the foreign' s value and ignoring the first country' value? Do you think USA would do that? No. If you don't stop it, it would become very ugly fight.

  • 1

    Canadiangirl88

    Its very frustrating to me that we as humans put other people down for being emotional about this! I cant understand why people think its wrong to stand up for something that cant protect itself! We as humans have the power to save these animals from torture and abuse! They do not deserve to be kept in tanks for our entertainment and they certainly dont deserve to be netted off have their spinal cord severed to thrash around and drown in a sea of blood NOTHING IN THIS WORLD DESERVES THAT! They are smart and social just like us how would you like to be put in a net with all your friends and family and then have a harpoon stuck down your throat and watch everyone you care about die? OH and if you were luck enough to be the pretty one then you might survive to be sold to sea world or something and live the rest of your life alone just so people could come and watch you jump around in a bath tub!:(

  • 0

    igloobuyer

    tinawatanabeFEB. 06, 2014 - 10:39PM JST Listen, Do you think there is any country in the world who will drop it's legal practice just because a few foreign countries says so who is pushing the foreign' s value and ignoring the first country' value? Do you think USA would do that? No. If you don't stop it, it would become very ugly fight.

    Yep, a lot of Japanese policies were drafted after pressure from the US and Europe. Ever heard of GAIATSU.

  • -3

    taiko666

    @inawatanabe

    Yes, this has happened throughout history, and has often been very beneficial to all concerned.

    Many (not all) countries respond to criticism constructively. Japan just throws a temper tantrum. Always.

  • 0

    jeff198527

    More left-wing insanity from the US.

  • -3

    kaimycahl

    @ Brainiac i wonder how many of those celebrities come to Japan to promote their movies.

    Actually those celebrities with political power don't have to go to Japan to promote their movies they can sell well elsewhere!

    Is it any different with Yoko Ohno promoting her peace world wide? Japan or US? Celebrities in the USA have a voice UNLIKE the celebrities in Japan if they say the wrong thing they are bending over!

  • -3

    fannybatter

    stabbing dolphins- bloody awesome! celebrities dictating global politics- priceless

  • -4

    FernandoUchiyama

    That is what I was talking about in the other day.

    In the West the celebrities participate with political matters. In Japan, people wait for the politicians to do everything for them.

    It is too much weight under the japanese politician's shoulders. The politicians should delegate some of its tasks to the celebrities, like is done in the West. For example, it is not the politicians who should be discussing with China right now, but celebrities, sportists, intelectuals, ...

  • -2

    Gracie Rodriguez Pereyra

    It's not about nationalism. Qe just want to create conscious that if this activity continue; it will be continue to the extinction of this species.

  • -1

    JTDanMan

    Hunting dolphins is not part of Japan's cultural legacy and really doesn't bring in any money. Keeping it going is mostly a One Finger Salute to the US and the 'international community," which Japanese nationalists hate and fear, because they have a chip on their shoulder the size of Hokkaido.

    The funny thing is how the left and the right in the West flip on this issue. Usually, its the left who is quick to forgive anything about Japan, so long as it relates to her "beautiful traditions" because, Alderon is, after all, a peaceful planet. But here, they are killing Dolphins! And no amounts of Green Koolaid Tea can beat that!

    The right, of course, hates liberal weenies more than anything in the world...

  • 1

    Selchuk Driss

    I support this. Japan fares best without the TPP anyway!

  • 1

    Strangerland

    Keeping it going is mostly a One Finger Salute to the US and the 'international community,"

    Or maybe it's about doing it because it's something they've been doing for 45 years, and feel no need to stop. They were doing it before there were protestors, and they would be doing it even if there were no protestors, which kind of kills the idea that they are doing it for any reason to do with the international community at all.

  • 0

    JTDanMan

    The Japanese government keeps it going.

  • 3

    dudeyes

    If these celebrities are sincere , then they should also call for a boycott of Iceland and Norway too. The Faroe islanders have a similar whale/ dolphin cull, and Iceland has regular whale hunts, yet no one pays attention to them. I wonder why Japan is being singled out..... hmmm, could it be something else??? No, it couldn't be, these celebs are supposed to be liberals.

  • -4

    tokyodoumo

    Japan seems to be pushing away friends and foes equally... Isn't MR ABE and LDP just doing a hell of a job? TPP is not perfect but we need it to prop up our economic base. ABENOMICS is not going to revive the core of our economy which is Trade. Without TPP Japan's chance of digging itself out the whole we're in will become impossible.

  • 0

    Strangerland

    The Japanese government keeps it going.

    That has nothing to do with whether or not it is a 'one finger salute' to the international community. As I said, they were doing it before the protestors came, and they will likely be doing it when the protestors leave. So it really has nothing to do with the international community, other than a bunch of people who want it to be about them.

  • -6

    kaimycahl

    Abe selection of people represents his direction in which he wants Japan to project if he continue to put people in his cabinet that have historical views of the past of course other countries would get nervous. This would make people feel uneasy, then he goes and makes sure that he get the support of allies to promote his agenda and sticks his chest out. Makes me wonder if he didn't have such support what would he do. If Abe wants peace he has to show to his neighbors what he is promoting but provoking them does no good at all.

  • 1

    Sean Jewett

    As much as I want it to end its funny how Celebrity's really think they are important enough to get into modern politics. The US will be effected by declining this as well so I doubt they will interrupt it for somthing irrelevant.

  • 0

    Helen Tam-Semmens

    Yes, Japanese people need to change from within. But international community also has a responsibility to act when such hunt is outrageously cruel, has huge sustainability issue (according to EIA report) and doesn't even benefit Japanese people as a whole (since dolphin meat is 'toxic' according to Taiji officials). It only enriches a few in Japan for them to sell captured dolphins all over the world. Fact is that a lot of Japanese are not even aware of such killing. And for those aware, the majority do not support it (according to Japanese protestors at Tokyo last month).

  • 0

    FizzBit

    I was surprised to see William Shatner's name on this. He usually doesn't sign on to touchy-feely things like this. He must be going soft.

  • 1

    Rhingyll

    Please explain; there are 12 nations negotiating the TPP, if the US refuses to sign because the Japanese hunt dolphins, how does that hurt Japan? Will the TPP not be signed by the other nations? Is it everyone or none? Can/Would the US really scuttle a treaty with 10 other countries to stop dolphin hunting by Japan?

  • -1

    Daniechar

    What people don't realize is that the majority of the money made from these drive hunts is from the sale of captive dolphins to aquariums and swim with dolphin programs all over the world. A small percent actually comes from the sale of dolphin meat --- which by the way is basically toxic to eat since the mercury levels are so high. The majority of Japanese people don't even eat dolphin meat...and it's used for dog food and manure. If people want the hunt to stop the focus needs to be on cutting off the money maker --- stop supporting swim with dolphin programs and aquariums.

    And to those being critical of people combatting the argument from Japan that it's culture --- it's the capture and sale of live dolphins that clearly is NOT culture and that's funding these larger hunts.

    Also, their capture and slaughter process is completely inhumane. They slaughter by driving a metal rod into their spinal cord and it can take up to 30 minutes before they die. These are sentient beings that live with their families their whole lives and are proven to have emotions and self awareness. Watch a live feed from Cove Guardians or watch the cove and it's undeniably inhumane.

    There's so much wrong with Japan's barbaric practice. We have far too much knowledge about dolphins to have this behavior continuing in this day and age. I'm happy to see celebrities speaking out...whatever it takes to get the word out.

  • -1

    Barbara Smith

    This is fantastic very ignorant people on here calling celebrities names when they're doing a very good thing for our earth for our animals you obviously know nothing about Taiji and the slaughter the blood slaughter that goes on there this is a wonderful thing.!!!!!

  • 0

    tinawatanabe

    Rhingll

    I don't think it affects Japan's dolphin hunting if US refuses to sign. Japan just lives without TPP as it does now. US would signTPP without Japan. That's all.

  • 3

    umioso

    AFTA, NAFTA, CAFTA, WTO, and NOW the TPP are disasters for American workers. Oh, sure, the corporations profit well from theseo-called, "Free Trade Agreements", but that does NOT translate into JOBS in the United States. We have lost more jobs than we gained through these scams. As an American, I do NOT support passage of the TPP and I am working towards the rescinding of ALL of these crappy deals for American Workers. IMHO, President Obama, (whom I voted for in both elections), has dropped the ball. Maybe he's trying to hedge his position for his eventual return to private life. Iow, you can trust a politician - - to always be a politician! Loyalty towards his constituency is quite another thing.

  • 2

    Kouichi Ijyuin

    ***We can escape from TPP and also can keep on protecting traditinal culture.

    This is real WIN-WIN ^^ Thank you Russell Simmons somthing? ***

  • 3

    BertieWooster

    If the TPP is so good, why are the negotiations conducted in strict secrecy?

  • -2

    Kouichi Ijyuin

    The Oscar-winning 2009 documentary The Cove is fake! peeping tom movie! the faded tones of an old recording. ANTI JAPANESE FOOD CULTURE MOVIE!

  • 1

    tinawatanabe

    @aussie-musashi

    They are not aware of many things. That is mainly due to biased, government-sponsored media reporting, and rote-learning education. Bottom line, Japanese people know what their government chooses to teach and tell them

    So, you think you know about Japan more than Japanese do. You don't know most media are anti-Japan, which influenced SKorea, China, and eventually English media. Japan's news paper Yomiuri is the largest publication in the world, and books' publication is also probably one of the largest if not the largest. What's wrong with Japan's education if they read a lot of books. Probably you've never been to Japan's big book stores.

  • -3

    arrestpaul

    Backing the effort are Oscar-winning performers Sean Penn, Cher, Susan Sarandon, Jennifer Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow and Charlize Theron as well as TV stars Ellen DeGeneres and William Shatner.... and hip-hop producer Russell Simmons.

    Yawn. Who really cares what these Hollyweird-types have to say about international politics. They all spend their time pretending to be someone else and their fans appreciate their acting/singing. Only. I suspect that their agents told them that if they signed a letter to Ambassador Kennedy, they would get their names in the media and that's what's REALLY important to entertainers.

  • -3

    arrestpaul

    Eiji TakanoFeb. 11, 2014 - 07:25AM JST

    arrestpaul

    Yawn. Who really cares what these Hollyweird-types have to say about international politics. They all spend their time pretending to be someone else and their fans appreciate their acting/singing. Only. I suspect that their agents told them that if they signed a letter to Ambassador Kennedy, they would get their names in the media and that's what's REALLY important to entertainers.

    Question for "arrestpaul": Why do you defend whaling and dolphin hunting? What's your reasons behind it?

    I object to the grand standing and attention-seeking of the Hollyweird-types, many of who never graduated high school.

    I strenuously object to the eco-terrorist SS constant and repeated use of violence to force others to do their biding.

    Did you mean to post your questions in a thread about actors and singers attempting to gain attention for their sagging careers?

  • 0

    Kouichi Ijyuin

    THE COVE = Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda

    Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda, RMVP or Propagandaministerium

    HINT "FAEROE ICELAND"

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