Japan’s Right Wing Squelches “The Cove”

Unsurprisingly, other countries have a strong right-wing movement.  They represent the forces of traditionalism.  In Japan, that means slaughtering dolphins and whales for sustenance, despite the presence of mercury in these upper-tier predators.

Groups like Mr. Nishimura’s Society for the Restoration of Sovereignty, which has just a handful of core members, have recently made it their mission to counter international criticism of practices like whaling and dolphin hunting. In countless rallies, the society’s members have argued that the hunts are time-honored Japanese traditions that must be protected from Western condemnation, and “The Cove” is now their No. 1 target.

“If you have any pride in your nation, do not show this film,” Mr. Nishimura bellowed through his loudspeakers at a protest in front of the Yokohama New Theater, with about 50 protesters with billboards and rising-sun flags in tow. “Will you poison Japan’s soul?”

Some cinemas offered viewing of the documentary, but quickly cancelled them after threats of protests from Mr. Nishimura’s group.  In a country so strongly averse to demonstrations and standing out from the norm, these threats have proved to be the only necessary move to halt screening of “The Cove” in Japan.



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