Monday, April 12, 2010

The Cove Banned at U.S. Base in Japan

The Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove (pictured above), an uncompromising film about the slaughter of dolphins by gangs of brutish and cutthroat hunters in Japan, has been banned by U.S. military officials at the U.S. Air Force's Yakota Air Base in Tokyo. The Cove cannot be shown at the base theater, in the words of a public affairs spokesman, "since using a military base as a venue that could be seen as an endorsement of the film one way or another would be prohibited." (Source)

The base spokesman explained that officials are simply trying to be sensitive to customs in Japan. Interestingly, the film shows that only a tiny percentage of the Japanese population is involved in the dolphin hunt and most Japanese are shocked and appalled at the news that dolphins are being slaughtered in their country's waters. Defending the decision to prohibit showing the film, base public Affairs spokesman Major Christopher Watt explained that "anything done on an American base would be seen as an approval of that event." Interestingly, Watt says he wants to see the film. He should. I'm sure it will move him, just as it has millions of viewers around the world. It's an extraordinary documentary.

The courageous thing to do, of course, would be to make The Cove mandatory viewing at Yakota Air Base. From what I saw in The Cove, most Japanese people would probably support such a move. They don't seem to like these thugs who are murdering dolphins any more than the rest of us.

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