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Sea Shepherd Calls Australians to Respect Broome's Japanese Families and Their Heritage

August 28, 2009

Sea Shepherd Calls Australians to Respect Broome's Japanese Families and Their Heritage

The Shire of Broome’s decision to state they are unable to fulfill their obligation as the sister city of Taiji, Japan until the annual dolphin slaughter ends is causing public out lash to some Broome residents.

The decision has caused pain for many people in the Broome community some residents with Japanese heritage now stating they feel somewhat marginalized.

Broome has a Japanese cemetery full of men from Taiji who developed the pearling industry in Broome. The tension that has been caused is most regrettable because Broome is known for its ability to celebrate its multiculturalism.

There is a saying in Japan “the nail that stands out must be pounded down.” Australian culture comparatively is one that encourages strong opinion, debate, and independence. Australians believe they can rally and fight for what they believe in to try and make this world a better place.

The Japanese people of Broome helped shape this northwest Australian town for what it is today and should be admired and respected. To treat people of Broome of Japanese descent with any less respect is an outrage, disrespectful, and quite frankly uncivilized.

Some people in Broome have even gone as far as to interfere with the graves in the Japanese cemetery. These people belong back in the Dark Ages.

While Broome still believes its decision was the right one and hopes there may be some impact on current practices in Taiji, there is a section of the community (people with Japanese ancestry) who now need to hear from everyday Australians that they are valued, respected, and admired. They need to hear that message as loudly as they have heard the cry from us to sever those historic ties.

Sea Shepherd is asking to please write positive and reaffirming emails to the community of Broome, that Broome citizens of Japanese heritage are equally respected and admired as part of the community in helping to shape one of Australia’s premier iconic coastal towns.

Councilor Chris Maher is happy to take those emails and can be reached at chris@arthousebroome.com.

Alternatively you can write a letter to the editor of the Broome Advertiser by emailing news@broomead.com.au

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society condemns the out lash directed at the Japanese community of Broome. This issue has nothing to do with race; what is happening to the dolphins in Taiji is an issue that affects us all on a global scale.

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Captain Paul Watson’s Letter to the Broome Editor:

The Broome Advertiser

To the Editor:

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society applauds the decision by the Council of the Shire of Broome in suspending the sister city status with Taiji, Japan.

This decision has already put a great deal of pressure on Taiji to consider banning the barbaric practice of slaughtering dolphins. It was courageous and thoughtful move on the part of the town council and is greatly appreciated by marine conservationists around the world.

We regret any prejudice that the incidents in Taiji have caused in inspiring some individuals to insult and verbally assault Australian citizens of Japanese descent who live in Broome.

When the late great Steve Irwin died, some of his so called "supporters" began killing stingrays to avenge his death. Steve would have been horrified.

In the same way those of us who are in the field protecting and defending dolphins are opposed to any person who uses the dolphins or the whales to justify hatred against any race or cultural group of fellow humans.

Thirty years ago, I was battling Australian whalers in Western Australia at Cheynes Beach. Australia ended whaling and is now the leading nation standing up for the whales worldwide. If Australians can change from being whale killers to becoming whale defenders, then there is great hope for Japan, Norway, and Iceland to do the same.

Let’s hope this barbarically cruel slaughter of tens of thousands of defenseless dolphins in Japan is ended soon, and Broome will be able to hold out a hand once more to Taiji in friendship.

Sincerely,

Captain Paul Watson


 

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