Commentary by Sea Shepherd Founder, Captain Paul Watson
If it is true that the U.S. military is buying dolphins captured in Taiji, it is an embarrassing international issue that must be addressed. But I suspect it is a politically motivated fabrication.
The Nikkei Asian Review is alleging that dolphins caught in the horrific dolphin drives in Taiji have been sold to the United States military.
There is no evidence cited, but the Asian Review is usually a credible source. It is suspected that this may be misinformation “leaked” from inside the Japanese government following the decision last month by the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums to no longer purchase dolphins from Taiji to avoid suspension from the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
I seriously doubt that the U.S. military is purchasing dolphins from Taiji, and it appears that the Nikkei Asian Review is simply using an allegation from an unknown source to undermine the credibility of U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy.
However as the Asian Review is a credible source, Sea Shepherd is looking into a FOIA request and will ask the U.S. military directly if this is a credible story.
The U.S. government has been cooperating with Japan to protect illegal Japanese whaling operations, so it is not unreasonable to assume that there may be a relationship between Japanese dolphin captures and the securing of dolphins for the U.S. military from captives taken by Taiji fishermen.
Read more: An inconvenient truth about dolphins