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06 February 2012

Documentary film"The Cove" Good for brain training

I rented a DVD of the film which contains Japanese subtitles and censored faces for the release in Japan. The film won US film Academy Award for documentary. It is about dolphin loving westerners trying to save dolphins in the cove in Taiji town in Wakayama Prefecture in Japan.

This documentary is interesting one in the sense that anyone can learn that documentary shouldn't be produced in neutral stance, in other words it can be propaganda or be very biased.

To me, it was like brain training material. The film is based on the producers' emotional matters. The story is mainly narrated by Rick O'berry, a former dolphin trainer for the famous TV show "Flipper." He felt guilty of using dolphins for entertainment. Since then he started activity to protect dolphins. He even had broken the law to do that. In this film he trespassed to capture dolphin hunting scenes.

I list up things agreeable and disagreeable matters in the film.

  • Dolphins shouldn't be used for aquarium shows because they are put in stressful situation. 

Agree, in that sense we should treat them better. Maybe animals shouldn't be used as toys or entertainment like bull fighting in Spain or Rodeo in US.

  • Dolphins are as intelligent as human, so they shouldn't be killed and eaten.

Disagree. What is definition of "intelligence" they mean? Does that mean not intelligent creatures should be killed and eaten?  

  • Dolphin hunting is not Japanese culture but only local matter in the town. Most Japanese do not eat dolphin or whale meat. Cultural aspect can not be a reason for justifying dolphin hunting.

Disagree. Although dolphin hunting is only local culture in the town, it is their culture anyway. No foreigner or Japanese outside the town can interfere their activity. What they eat is their business. As long as the specie is not endangered, anyone can eat anything except human on the earth. I do not care Koreans eating dog meat though I don't and I think dogs are as intelligent as human.

The film featured some facts Japanese merely pay attention as follows.

  1. If people continue to fish in the oceans at current speed, the marine resource will all disappear in 40 years. Japan is the world's largest consumer of seafood.
  2. If you are arrested by the police, the police can detain you for 135 days until indictment is decided. If indicted, you are convicted at rate of 90%.
  3. Japan pays so much money to small nations to gain pro-whaling votes in IWC. Japan's intention is not economic one but very political, which is protesting western imperialism.
  4. IWC delegate from Japan says whaling is one way of pest control because they are eating smaller fish.
  5. Dolphins and whale meats sometimes contain very highly concentrated mercury inside and those are provided to school lunches for children. (Now we should be worried about radioactives.)

One thing I wondered was why Taiji town did not permit the documentary crews to videotape their hunting of dolphins, not letting them do that illegally. That way they can solve the problem. It is bloody and brutal but what is the problem? That is what humans do for survival. We do that to cows, pigs, birds and even to fruits and vegetables. Plants are living creatures. Even vegetarians cannot avoid such sin for survival.

Let's be logical, rational and realistic rather than emotional racist, imperialist or idiotic idealist.   

14 August 2011

Book: "Letters from Berlin" written by a Japanese woman who lived in West Germany during Chernobyl crisis

The book is letter format. A writer named Chikako Yamamoto's wrote her experience of life in West Germany during Chernobyl nuclear crisis between April 1986 and 1989.

During that time she lived in West Berlin. What she experienced had many similarities to my current life in Tokyo, or surprisingly even worse. Tokyo is 220 kilometers away from Fukushima, but West Berlin is 1200 km away from Chernobyl. But radioactives Germen had to deal with was the same or even worse than Fukushima. Is it because Chernobyl disaster was much worse and more wide-spread or what we've been told since Fukushima crisis was censored by the authorities?

The life in West Germany was dramatically changed since Chernobyl accident occurred. The newspaper was occupied by radioactive related matters.

In contrast as time passed by, people tried to adopt to such changed environment and not to pay attention to serious matters although food they ate had been kept contaminated.

West Germany at that time censored the reports on radioactives and supressed anti-nuke activities because at that time West Germany took pro-nuke policy. But some citizens stood up and started to fight against oppression.

Similar phenomenons have been happening here in Japan.

However, because this is quarter century after Chernobyl, we may have been a little wiser, I hope.

Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan declared "Less dependency on nuclear energy" policy on August 6, the day of Hiroshima nuclear bomb day. It is like modeled after Germany's decision of abandoning all nuke plants in that country by 2012.

Now only 1 third of Japan's nuclear power plants are operated currently. No re-operation is scheduled at this point. Local governments of where nuke plants are located are very reluctant to OK re-operation. 

Japan's Parliament decided to pass the law that promotes more use of renewable energy, so called FIT (Feed in Tarrif). This is modeled after Germany's system as well.

We have to learn a lot from Germany's experience, like we did in the past such as imperial constitution and ground force military system in late 19th century and how to recover relationship with neighboring nations which we invaded during the second world war.

Deutschland, be our good model. Danke!

17 August 2010

Why they protest US military base

Anti-US military base activist, Mr. Ashitomi spoke to young students from Palestinean, and Israel with interpreter.

He talked about why he set up the tent to monitor nearby US marine base, Camp Schwab.

Japanese government recently agreed with the US marine on expansion of the current marine base for the relocation of the Futenma base in Okinawa.  

Part 1 is environmetal issue related to the construction of new base. Part 2 is peace issue.

Anti-US base activist talks 反米軍基地活動家の話し Part 1

 

Anti-US base activist talks 反米軍基地活動家の話し Part 2

 

You can learn more detail in this blog's tag, Okinawa, which you can access by clicking the below.

14 June 2010

Sent a postcard to US Ambassador to Japan

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This is front side.
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That's my message!
I hope he reads this and delivers it to Pentagon and Obama.