Category: Ichiro Fujisaki

Dear Ichiro Fujisaki and Readers,

You have reached my tenth and final post for this blog! Congratulations on making it this far (I know some of these posts are quite lengthy) and thank you for taking the time to educate yourself on an issue that deserves your attention. You now have the intelligence to go out and make a persuasive case on the campaign against dolphin slaughter.  Let’s recap on what embodies this education. Hyperlinks direct you to the blog post that expands on the linked subject.

More than 2000 dolphins are killed each year in Japan alone. A majority of this slaughter takes place in a cove in Taiji, Japan. Research supports that dolphins have an incredible capacity for intelligence, self awareness, and memory. Therefore they may even be aware of their fate in the cove! Despite the brutal manner in which these animals are killed, which involves hours of torturing their sonar perception by banging on pipes, the meat is extremely toxic with mercury. This mercury is extremely harmful to humans, as seen in the Minamata case.

The Japanese government refuses to take action to change these policies or warn the Japanese people that their food may be poisoned. Some of the meat is even mislabeled! Promoters of the practice claim that it is a cultural tradition, but common knowledge amongst Taiji civilians about the issue is rare. The angered reaction from Japanese fisherman when the topic is exposed further adds suspicion to this cultural justification.

There are plans that can be implemented to begin the process of excluding dolphin as an edible product. They include restricting fishing policies and banning the distribution of dolphin meat according to health regulations. Even though dolphin does create a large amount of economic profit for Japan, there are more also reasonable plans that provide economic profit without murder. These include eco-friendly tourist outlets like dolphin watches or cruises. However, these plans can only get enough momentum to become a reality if YOU are there to propel it.

Along the journey to reach this final post, you have heard many stories. You have heard my story as an aspiring scuba diver looking to speak up for the ocean. You have heard the story of Frankie, who is one of thousands of people (like me) trying to convince you to stand up and serve as an influential voice on the dolphin campaign. You have even heard the stories of individuals like Hayden Patteniere, Ric O’Barry and Elora Malama, who are taking incredible measures to ensure a safe future for dolphins and the Japanese people. But at the end of the day, it is your story that really matters. I urge you to take the knowledge you have obtained in this blog and spread it for the world to hear. It is time to protect your people. It is time to take a stand. It is time to give dolphins something real to smile about!

Thanks for reading,
Kelsey Anderson

PS.   READERS: The strength behind this campaign does not solely lie in the voice of Ichiro Fujisaki. It lies in yours as well.


Happy International Save Japan Dolphins Day!
Okay… maybe happy is not the way I would describe it.

Today, October 14,  is the sixth annual Japan dolphin day. In order to honor this, marine activist demonstrations are taking place around the world in front of Japanese embassies and consulates. Hey Ichiro Fujisaki, are you listening? Today is your day to show us that you are open to negotiate a more humane method of economic income. Hey reader, are you listening? Here is your chance to stop reading my blog and start making a difference! The more people who participate in this protest, the more attention we can attract to this issue. The more attention is behind this movement, the more weight it will carry in the political world. The more political pressure, the sooner regulations can be changed to cut off the distribution of dolphin meat and promote eco-friendly tourism like dolphin-watching cruises. Savvy?

Here is a list of cities and locations that are participating in the event. They range from Syndey, Australia to Los Angeles, California. Please join in the campaign for Japan to switch to an appropriate method of profit that does not  involve dolphin slaughter. If you cannot attend, you can take a stand over the phone as well (and I know your phone is near by)! Here is a list of all Embassies and Consulates with phone numbers.

Remember Elora? She and her father have taken this day as an opportunity to try and speak to the Taiji mayor once again. Here is a video of their attempt:

It is amazing to me, even from a public relations standpoint, that the Taiji major does not view this worldwide protest as a large enough issue to address personally. I guess an even more influential voice needs to emerge in order for dolphin treatment to rise on the political priority list **cough cough ICHRIO FUJISAKI cough cough**

However, it is nothing short of incredble that this issue has reached a global stand to begin with. Therefore I would like to take this moment to thank anyone that has stumbled across or made it to reading this post. The fact that you are even educating yourselves about this issue is the first step in putting an end to this disgusting practice. It is important to be aware of the many aspects and influential figures surrounding the dolphin huntng controversy; only then do we have a proper and persusive viewpoint on the issue. Now that you have a basic knowledge of the situation, I encourage you to share this awareness with those around you. You never know what a simple conversation may spark for the future! Good luck, future marine activists! I believe in you! 🙂

Fish are friends, not food. Take it from our friend Bruce here. He vows to be a “nice shark, not a mindless eating machine.” (If only we could all say the same thing, eh?)

Well, dolphins are mammals, but Bruce’s point still stands. If you don’t believe him, then maybe you should listen to the citizens of Minamata, Japan.  In 1956 these individuals were the first group to be exposed to intense Mercury poisoning, but since the condition was unprecedented it was labeled as a “disease.” Victims of Minamata disease experienced numbness or difficulty in limb movement, a narrowed visual field, language or hearing disorders, a skewed sense of equilibrium, tremors, and movement disorders of the eyeballs. These effects drastically increased in newborns and children. In severe cases, people could become mad or unconscious, leading to death.

Since then research has pinpointed these mutations to deterioration of brain neurons as a result of Mercury exposure. To ensure that events like Minamata do not take place again, associations such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency have set up regulations measuring the appropriate level of mercury intake (about 1ppm at the highest). However, recent tests of Japanese whale and dolphin meat have found concentrations of Mercury in the Japanese people up to 18.9ppm! Tetsuya Endo is the conductor of one such study in Taiji, Japan. Endo’s experiments involved taking hair samples from 50 residents to examine their Mercury levels. The results placed the average Taiji citizen about 10 times past the national average of Mercury intake, with some patients showing Mercury levels high enough to match that of Minamata victims! Here is a clip from The Cove expanding on this issue:

Despite these startling outcomes in Japan, the government makes no effort to caution their people of the poison that has become a staple of their dietary habits.  In fact, much of it is mislabeled as whale meat to begin with and used to be served at school cafeterias! Much of the Japanese people are not even aware that they are eating dolphin, let alone that this meat is extremely dangerous to their health!

Bruce the shark has one more line in his vow to be a friendly being. It goes like this: “if I am to change this image, I must first change myself.” In order to avoid another tragic situation like Minamata, the Japanese people must change themselves as well. They must change their economic view, and have this reflected in their buying and consuming practices. However, this can only be done if a Japanese authority takes charge and spreads awareness about the danger that the Japanese people are in. An educational, persuasive, and influential voice must be the one leading a cultural change of such significance.

Will Ichiro Fujisaki please stand up?

Frankie Says

Frankie Churchill is nine years old, but we have a lot in common. We both go to school in California. We both are fans of the ocean. And we both have a message for  Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki.

Sadly, my message doesn’t come inside a hand-drawn heart. Niether did Fujisaki’s answer to Frankie, stating that he “takes note of [Frankie’s] concerns but also wish[es] that [he] understand the many different cultures in the world, many of which have traditions that are different to those found in the United States.” Fujisaki goes on to explain to young Frankie that “most people eat some sort of meat, whether it is hamburger (meat of cow) or some other form.” Hmmm. Touche, Fujisaki. What’s funny is I don’t remember consuming toxic levels of Mercury at my last barbeque.

Ichiro Fujisaki is the US Ambassador for Japan, and as such serves as the ideal bridge of power for an American like me to influence a foreign issue. Revoking or restricting Taiji’s fishing permits would be a monumental step in eliminating the dangerous and disturbing treatment of dolphins in Japan. Including appropriate, eco-friendly tourism like dolphin tours would help supply economic profit in a non-harmful manner as well. Furthermore, getting the Japan Fisheries Agency Food Sanitation Committee to ban meat that contains mercury would cut off the demand for dolphin meat, therefore decreasing dolphin hunting as well. Ichiro Fujisaki holds enough weight in the political system to serve as a persuasive voice in making these changes a reality. I urge that he listens to the messages of people like Frankie Churchill and takes this issue seriously. The safety of the Japanese people and the preservation of a beautiful species needs to be taken into consideration above the success of an economic product.

Here is a link to Fujisaki speaking about Japanese environmental policies and nuclear waste. But what about the waste that his people are consuming daily?

Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki on Going Green