Worldwide Anti-Whaling Day was recently held and President Barack Obama just left for a trip to Asia, which will include a stop in Japan. Earth Island Institute/Save Japan Dolphins, In Defense of Animals, the Animal Welfare Institute, and several other environmental and animal welfare organizations sent him a letter that began: the undersigned organizations, representing 2½ million members and petition signers, urge you to request that the Japanese government expeditiously and permanently end its slaughter of dolphins and whales.”

You can send a message to:

President Obama is scheduled to be in Japan the 13th and 14th of November, to include a meeting with the new Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

The full text of our letter:

Earth Island Institute
Animal Welfare Institute
World Society for the Protection of Animals
American Cetacean Society
Cetacean Society International
In Defense of Animals
Nantucket Marine Mammal Conservation Program
Orgami Whales Project
Peninsula Citizens for the Protection of Whales
The Whaleman Foundation/Save the Whales Again! Campaign

November 4, 2010

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20500

VIA E-mail, FAX, and Regular Mail

Dear President Obama:

On the eve of your upcoming trip to Japan to meet with Prime Minister Naoto Kan, the undersigned organizations, representing 2 ½ million members and online petition signers, urge you to request that the Japanese government expeditiously and permanently end its slaughter of dolphins and whales.

More than 2 million people from 151 countries have signed online petitions urging an end to the slaughter of dolphins in Japan, as depicted by the Academy Award-winning documentary, The Cove, and the Animal Planet television series, Blood Dolphin$. Considering that mercury and other toxic materials poison much of the dolphin meat, this issue is more than about protecting dolphins and whales but is also necessary to protect human health.

The Japanese delegation to the International Whaling Commission (IWC), comprised mainly of officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), has been completely uncooperative and disruptive within the body, continuing to defend killing whales in defiance of the moratorium on commercial whaling, including within the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary, and trading in whale products in violation of spirit and intent of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. The MAFF’s bogus scientific research is an illegal front for commercial whaling, this illegal whaling is conducted in direct defiance of international law, and MAFF’s pursuits within the IWC represent a breach of accepted diplomatic behavior and practices. Furthermore, it has been documented that the MAFF has engaged in bribery of delegates to the IWC, including providing funds for travel, entertainment, prostitutes, and cash. MAFF staff and its IWC delegation are paid for through controversial taxpayer subsidies and the sale of whale meat obtained from so-called “scientific” whaling, which is a direct conflict of interest.

For these reasons, continued negotiations at the IWC in an attempt to find a compromise with Japan and other whaling nations are simply useless. The MAFF has demonstrated for years that it has no incentives to compromise or cooperate. Furthermore, if the United States were to continue to pursue such a compromise that allows the resumption of commercial whaling or legitimizes “scientific” whaling, as it has done for the past three years, it will not be acting in accordance with the needs and demands of the American people. Instead, the United States must work cooperatively with other like-minded IWC member-countries to continue to advance protections for all cetaceans, large and small, and their habitats through IWC resolutions, multi-national demarches against the whaling countries, and by using all other legal, diplomatic, and administrative tools to compel these countries to end commercial/scientific whaling.

The MAFF authorizes and legitimizes the slaughter of intelligent dolphins and whales in the cruelest ways imaginable. These dolphin and whale hunts are inhumane and unnecessary. Dolphins and whales are harpooned at sea, while in Taiji, Japan, dolphins are herded into a shallow cove and then harpooned or have their throats slit in a welter of blood.

Killing dolphins and whales hurts the government of Japan’s reputation and likely the economy of Japan due to adverse global publicity. The MAFF also promotes a distortion of the truth about whaling and dolphin killing to the people of Japan, who consequently tend to be oblivious to the suffering of the animals, the potential toxicity of the meat, as well as the implications for the sustainability of cetacean populations.

Your personal intervention at the highest levels of the Japanese government is needed to help change this dynamic. Otherwise, the MAFF will continue to permit the unnecessary slaughter of whales and dolphins, practice the politics of disruption within the IWC, and deceive the Japanese public. Many Japanese do not even know that their Fisheries Agency allows the killing of dolphins and endangered species of whales.

It is high time that Japan’s failure to join the rest of the world in protecting cetaceans comes to an end, and that the government rehabilitate its image that has been so badly damaged by the MAFF and their machinations to promote whaling and the slaughter of dolphins at any cost.

You can convey these facts to the new Prime Minister better than anyone else.

We thank you for your consideration of our request. Please feel free to contact any of us if you or your office needs additional information.


David Phillips
Executive Director
Earth Island Institute

Ric O’Barry
Campaign Director
Save Japan Dolphins
Earth Island Institute

Susan Millward
Executive Director
Animal Welfare Institute

Silla Smith
Interim Executive Director US
World Society for the Protection of Animals

Cheryl McCormick, Ph.D.
Executive Director
American Cetacean Society

William W. Rossiter
Cetacean Society International

Melissa Gonzalez
Wildlife Campaigns Manager
In Defense of Animals

Scott Leonard
Director of Operations
Nantucket Marine Mammal Conservation Program

Peggy Oki
Founder and Director
Origami Whales Project

Chuck Owens
Peninsula Citizens for the Protection of Whales

Jeff Pantukopff
President and Founder
The Whaleman Foundation
Executive Director
Save the Whales Again! Campaign



Vice President Joe Biden
Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke
Secretary of State Hilary Clinton
CEQ Chairperson Nancy Sutley
NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco
United States IWC Commissioner Monica Medina
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
Senator Barbara Boxer
Senator John Kerry
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Representative Nick Rahall
Representative George Miller

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