Heroes In Our Midst

Samurai of the Satsuma clan, during the Boshin...

Image via Wikipedia

David Bain works relentlessly to create awareness and shine light on the atrocities in Taiji. He befriends citizens of Japan to educate them in a compassionate manner. He posts articles and photographs on facebook pages of Japanese product manufacturers and firmly believes that we should boycott all Japanese made products until the killing stops.

I , however, will never purchase Japanese products for as long as I live. Why? I called the Japanese embassy a month ago and told them that if they did not stop the killing immediately, I would never buy Japanese products again. Now I must keep my word. If my children ever buy Japanese products, they will bring shame upon our family. My initial reason for boycotting, as I explained to the Japanese embassy in the U.S.A., was a simple one. When I look at something made in Japan, I see blood. I see blood everywhere in the water. I see dolphins being stabbed to death while their children and family watch in terror. I hear their screams and I am sickened by the Japanese government and its weak Prime Minister who will do nothing to stop this holocaust.

If you feel the same way that I do, then tell the Prime Minister of Japan when you email his sorry ass. Tell the consulates and embassies when you call them that you have had enough and that you will boycott Japan for as long as you shall live. Tell them that your children will do the same and that your children will bring videos and photo to school to make sure that their friends will never buy Japanese goods.

Let them know the dire gravity of the situation. Let them know that by killing the dolphins, they are killing their grandchildren because we and the next generations will see to it that Japan will slowly become a third world nation!

We are told that we should be nice when talking to the Japanese about this. For how many lives of innocents lost shall we be polite? Throughout how much spilling of blood should we smile? You can do what you wish, but for me negotiation is over! I will be polite to the person I speak to when I make a call, because I know that they may actually be on our side but are unable to express that they are. But I will be damned if I write another pretty little letter to the Prime Minister of Japan. He has had his chance!

Below is a conversation between David Bain and Michael Ko. It is a very good read. Enjoy!

From Mitsubishi Facebook Page

Michael Ko

Your motivations are very noble, David, to raise awareness of what you believe to be a cruel injustice going on in Japan and I applaud your efforts for feeling so strongly about the topic, but will boycotting an automotive manufacturer really do anything other than create more hurt and anguish in a time when we as a human race need to be healing one another? Your proposed boycott, if successful, will do damage to pregnant adults, infants and entire families of human beings whose livelihood depends on what the breadwinner of the household brings home, especially if their career is based on the automotive industry and that’s not just car sales. It’s Bob who works 50 hours a week at the Canadian Honda plant assembling a product he finds pride in or Jen who works at the Mitsubishi Normal, IL plant who runs quality control to make sure there are no defects in your paint or Hiro who casts the turbochargers at our Heavy Industries plant or Ashley the single mother working as a receptionist at your local dealer. Not to say that any one life is more important than another, but these are people that I work with on a daily basis, David, and your campaign, while noble in it’s basis, should be more localized to the actual fishing town and those who buy dolphin meat for subsistence. The Japanese as a culture do not respect or listen to rude or aggressive people and neither does 99% of the world. I feel for the plight of the dolphins, but I’ve never eaten dolphin in my entire life and nobody in my Japanese family has either.

  • David Bain Thank you very much for your response and thoughtful message.In June 2010, the Japanese Prime Minister said that their economy is on the verge of collapse, so this boycott is especially timely.

    Quite honestly, before this boycott could ever effect any low level workers of Japanese corporations, you can bet that the Shareholders will be screaming at the CEO’s and Directors and in turn, the senior management will be putting pressure on the Japanese administration.

    Whereas, most Japanese do not eat whale or dolphin, it is the government that allows them to be hunted and killed. In fact, the government subsidizes this industry to the tune of 1(ONE) Billion Yen per year.

    Your suggestion of bringing the boycott to a more centralized location like Taiji, for example, is problematic. First of all, the fishermen in Taiji were offered the same amount of money not to hunt dolphins as they would make killing them. Not only that but they were offered assistance in developing alternative businesses especially in the eco-tourism field. The fishermen refused the offer.

    The other problem is that Taiji is only one small community and it only accounts for 10% of the 2000 dolphins killed annually. These small fishing communities are pretty impossible to boycott themselves and given the number of them, it is logistically impossible.

    One thing that I am doing is trying to inform as many Japanese citizens as possible because it was really reassuring to hear the positive feedback from them after they saw the Academy Award winning documentary, “The Cove“.

    Most Japanese have no idea what is going on and would not support it if they did. However, you are very right when you say that the Japanese don’t particularly like rude or aggressive people but then again, who does.

    In my messages to the Japanese, I am polite and respectful. I am pretty well providing them a link to “The Cove” and letting them make up their own mind. I am also providing them on some information that there is a really good chance that they didn’t know about either and that is that whale and dolphin meat is contaminated with high levels of mercury.

    Dr Shigeo Ekino, a world renowned Minamata researcher said, “Everyone should avoid eating dolphin meat. If people continue to eat dolphin meat, there is a high probability of them having brain damage”

    In fact, the USA set standard of Methyl Mercury is now 0.1 , where as in Japan it is still 0.4 with whale and dolphin meat still being sold with Mercury contamination levels 3-200 times over acceptable levels.

    Another problem is that whale and dolphin meat is often mislabeled so the average consumer may not even be aware that they are eating contaminated food. Although, in another case, in August 2007, Hisato Ryono and Junichiro Yamashita, Taiji Assemblyman, conducted tests and discovered contaminated mercury laden Short Finned Pilot Whale meat TEN times over the acceptable levels being used for distribution in kindergarten and primary school lunch programs. They have been criticized by other Assemblyman for trying to take it off the school lunch menus in Taiji and distribution Nationwide. Doctors say even low concentrations of mercury can damage the nervous system.

    This obvious problem is even contrary to Japanese law. For example:

    There is a law in Japan, Food Sanitation Law Japan 233, Article 12, “No person shall falsely exaggeratedly label or advertise any food or additive, apparatus, container or package in a manner which may injure public health”.

    And,

    Food Sanitation Law Japan 233, Article 4, “…No person shall sell…with intent to sell any food given..those which bear toxin or injurious substances or which are suspected to contain or bear these substances provided..”

    I appreciate your comments, I really do. I appreciate you taking the time to respond – that IS important.

    If you are interested in following things more closely, you can find the Sea Shepherd both on fb and they have a website (seashepherd.org). Three of their ships are on the way to the Antarctic to try and protect as many whales as possible as the Japanese fleet just set sail with a target of about 1,000 whales, some of which are endangered. Kind of ridiculous that they state that they are doing this only in the name of research !

    Michael Ko

    Hey David,

    I definitely hear what you’re saying. As someone who’s lived and adapted to the Western culture, I can see the box outside-in now, but being that I once lived inside that very box which I used to call home, inclusive of all it’s traditions and cultures, for better or worse, will still see the effects of a global boycott on all levels, no matter how low.

    The Paris-Dakar Rally, for instance, was a rally race that was held annually in Africa and brought a lot of business to those areas where the race’s way-points were held. Mitsubishi was a seven-time championship winner in the event and we were very proud of that accomplishment. I had many friends who worked in the race division that made their living being involved in that division of the company. Threats were made against the race and participating manufacturers and the race disappeared altogether from the African continent. Rally fans worldwide were shocked and disappointed to hear about the cancellations, but more importantly, those who made their very living from these type of motor-sport events who trained for the better part of their lives to be a part of these events now found themselves faced with the grim consequences of either jumping on board another bandwagon or making a life-altering career change or face the dire consequences of not being able to support their loved ones. I saw friends go from working a job they loved and called home to, if they were lucky enough, grinding a 9 to 5 to make ends meet. I’m just stating a fact that I know within our ranks that has happened due to the effects of business politics and eventually all of it rolls downhill.

    You do bring up a point that does sway me, though. The alleged distribution of contaminated meat is appalling, and if true, I believe that a campaign that focuses on that would garner more respect from the people of Japan than a campaign that would try to undermine their economy. A strategy, no matter how noble, is judged ultimately on the action plan rather than the final result. The 1930s had an Austrian man who had noble intentions for his people as well and now the whole square mustache look is definitely out due to his course of action and not what his intended honorable goals were. I have not yet seen ‘The Cove’, but I do know that I lost a few friends due to the movie. I vividly remember a close female friend I had that called me a ‘dolphin killing jap’ due to her seeing the movie. Haven’t spoken to her since and I can’t say that I really miss her either, but it did show me that people can have very extreme views on any given topic and lose their minds while on their zealous path. While I’m not calling anyone a zealot in any ways, I think presentation is 50% of your battle. Trust me when I say that a nation will hear you out better, #1, if you present it to them in their language. That would be like me complaining to McDonald’s in Japanese about how I think it’s false advertising that the Big Mac looks so good in pictures but when I open the box, I’m extremely disappointed. LoL. I didn’t even take the time to write it in English and a spam filter would probably toss it right in the trash. Personal interests also take priority. I’m sure the Japanese would be a lot more receptive if the message were to be more about their personal health rather than a threat on their way of life. You have to remember that the Japanese are a very nature-based culture and the cycle of life will go on, no matter what. The way of thinking would be akin to looking at a situation such as the orca killer whale brutally killing a seal for a meal. It’s an every day occurrence that happens in the cycle of nature, just as it has always been these fishermens’ way of life to hunt these dolphins. It’s all they really know how to do and they see it as their life-cycle. It takes a lot of time and patience to ultimately change any sort of idea, especially when it’s so deep rooted as it is in ethnic culture. I mean, we’ve come a long way from putting leeches and maggots on wounds, but in some cultures and even in alternative medicine they are still used, as barbaric as it may appear.

    Eh, it’s late here on the East coast, but I just wanted to put in my $1.15 on a point of view that I think would be more effective in your campaign. There’s that old saying that you get a lot more bees with honey than you do with vinegar and the Japanese, as stoic as they are, still buzz. =)

    Goodnight, David.16 minutes ago · Report

  • David Bain Hey Michael, You are a really bright, articulate fellow and I really do appreciate your feedback.My messages to Japanese citizens is in Japanese. As you have pointed out, it would be rude and unacceptable to present it in any other fashion.

    What I have found, fortunately, is the majority of people that are working on this campaign are very respectful of the Japanese people and understand that not everyone supports what is going on. Furthermore, as you have mentioned, presentation is the most important consideration because you are either going to open the door or have it slammed in your face.

    We share a common consideration in that I am from Canada where on the east coast, they still beat baby seals to death (sometimes) with a club. Is that any less barbaric and sadistic. I think not and I have been working on that campaign for well over 35 years.

    Thanks again Michael. Your advice is appreciated and the dialogue important.

    David

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