By Ric O’Barry
I will be returning to Taiji on Sept. 1st with international supporters for the first day of the new dolphin hunt season.
I invite you to join me and other members of our Dolphin Project Team for this peaceful mission. Help us keep the dolphin hunts in the public eye, so there is a future for dolphins in Japan that is free from their capture, slaughter and exploitation. We will also continue to expose the hazards of consuming mercury-contaminated dolphin meat, which no one in the world should be eating.
Our 6-day trip includes arrival in Osaka (one day), sightseeing in Osaka (one day), bus down to Taiji with stops of interest (one day), a ceremony and other events at the Cove on Sept. 1st (one day), a day of sightseeing in the local area plus discussions of the issues (one day), return by bus to Osaka (one day), fly home.
All participants are responsible for their own travels costs, including roundtrip airfare to Osaka, hotels, meals and incidentals. We will be providing bus service from Osaka to Taiji and back, and we can help with hotel reservations.
All individuals under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Japan is healing from one of the most devastating disasters of our time. We encourage extra sensitivity and respect during this particularly challenging period for the nation.
Our work in Taiji remains strictly non-confrontational and legal. We will not tolerate any kind of hostility towards the Japanese, actions that could be perceived as anti- Japanese or any interference or trespass in the Cove by any of our supporters. For example, we cooperate with the local police and obey all laws, so we do not wish to harm that relationship, nor jeopardize our Campaign in Japan.
As you know, there has been serious damage to the Japanese nuclear power plants near Fukushima. This accident has included discharges of radiation into the air and water. While Taiji is a considerable distance from Fukushima and thus appears safe from such effects so far, there are unanswered questions as to what extent radiation contamination is a problem. For example, you will not be able to tell where your food comes from or whether it is absolutely safe to eat (unless you bring your own). This is a reality throughout Japan now. We believe the danger is small, but you need to consider your own health and safety if you plan to travel with us.
There is always a small chance we may have to cancel our plans due to circumstances beyond our control, so we encourage you to be flexible in your travel plans. We highly recommend that you secure trip cancellation insurance when making your airline reservation.