[The Hwankyung Ilbo] The government decided to prohibit the import of dolphins that are brutally captured in Japan. Recently, the Regulatory Reform Committee of the Office for Government Policy Coordination has conditionally passed an amendment to the Enforcement Decree of the Wildlife Protection and Management Act, which bans the importation of dolphins.
The Regulatory Reform Committee participated by the Ministry of Environment and civic groups voted for a conditional pass and the amendment will be implemented as soon as it is passed at the Cabinet meeting in March.
However, some of the critics say it is too late. In 2015, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) suspended membership of the Japanese Association Zoos Aquariums (JAZA) on the grounds that purchasing dolphins caught in cruel ways violated its ethical standards.
In order not to be expelled from the WAZA, the JAZA prohibited affiliated aquariums and zoos from engaging in buying, exporting and selling dolphins captured in a cruel way.
Responding to this action, Taiji left the JAZA and started dolphin hunting again in September 2016. In spite of criticism from around the world, the brutal dolphin hunting takes place every year in the vicinity of Taiji under the name of ‘tradition’ and thousands of dolphins and other small cetaceans are sacrificed.
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