The Cove on Japanese TV

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    The Cove

    The town of Taiji began its dolphin hunt yesterday. Taiji is now infamous in America and Australia because of “The Cove,” a documentary created by animal rights activists who feel its dolphin hunt is barbarous and cruel.

    Former dolphin trainer Ric O’Barry brought some foreign journalists to Taiji yesterday, an action that got some attention from the Japanese news media. Here’s the report that aired on TBS’s “The News” yesterday (subtitled in English):

    The report is sympathetic to Taiji’s fishermen. Emphasis is placed on Taiji’s long tradition of whaling and an explanation from a local government representative is given more air time than the statements made by Ric O’Barry. Short clips of the documentary are shown, but they aren’t as graphic as the bloody scenes shown in official trailers.

    O’Barry appears to be addressing his comments at the foreign journalists he brought along to cover the event. The Japanese news camera is just one of several filming his statements. The clip of him speaking includes something about how he concerned about the sales of dolphin meat. Based on previous things he has said in the international press, I’m guessing it was only the tail end of an explanation about the dangerous levels of mercury found in dolphin meat. It is possible that he wasn’t clear enough in mentioning the mercury, or TBS could have edited out that part of his statements.

    In the last week, I have seen a few Japanese press reports about the documentary and have noticed something strange. The film is written as “The Cove” in English. Apparently the makers of this film, a documentary that is supposed to be calling on Japan to end Taiji’s dolphin hunting, didn’t even make an official Japanese title for their film. If they were serious about actually getting the message out to Japanese people, you’d think they would make an easily understandable Japanese language title for the film and distribute Japanese press releases that informed media outlets of that title. I’m also puzzled that these people haven’t realized that t-shirt slogans written in Japanese might be more helpful than something written in English. If they are actually making great efforts to reach a Japanese audience, it’s not showing.

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