[Editorial] Dolphin, Whales and YokosoNews

Earlier today, one of my YokosoNews contributors traveled to Kumano, Japan. And he went to eat the local cuisine which include the dolphin. Then he posted the photo on YokosoNews Facebook page.

I immediately deleted the photo from the YokosoNews Facebook Page.

But I would like to take this opportunity to express my personal opinion and my premature plan. I’m writing this on my personal blog because this is not the official final plan of YokosoNews.

But it’s good to share my developing plan of YokosoNews as the first step to become a real social media and the bridge of Japanese culture… and get your feedbacks.

Lessons from the past

I was once a human rights activists in the past. And I made the terrible mistake and withdrawn to be a human rights activist 15 years ago.

I would like to refrain from the detail. But I was involved with dealing with the discrimination against Korean immigrants and indigenous Japanese.

Human rights acts in Japan

In the past, as a young immature person, I kept encouraging the victims to speak out. It was the awake of the Internet. I wanted to help the victims, and using the voice via Internet, try to make a documentary, and interviewed some victim.

I was approaching the high school students to speak out their experience. However after many years of joining their events and activities, I was not fully accepted by them. My project had failed eventually.

Outsider

One of the reason was that I was just an outsider. Nobody would understand the pain unless you are in the situation.

Especially, I was trying to work with high school students. The many guardians refused my idea by worrying about their future by coming out to the public.

For them, I was still an outsider. Even if I failed, I would be just a documentary filmmaker. However, for those high school students, they would have been marked as the victim of discrimination. It would have affected the future of their lives.

I failed to convince them why it would be beneficial for them, and I was always an outsider. You cannot become “an insider” no matter how much you tried to fit in. You need to function as the beneficial outsider. It’s very important to prove that I could bring the benefit to their lives.

Negative comments vs. Criticism

Once I kept condemning the problems of certain human rights organization. However, many of my earlier criticism were just “negative comments” that would give any solutions.

I learned that if you are going to have opinion, especially, if you’re going to criticize something, your critical comments must have the constructive results.

And you must respect and understand your counterparts as much as possible.

I define “condemnation” as negative comments without any solution in this post, and “criticism” as maybe negative comment but with solution or merit.

When treating the sensitive topics

Therefore, from my past experience, when dealing with the sensitive topics, I learned and am trying to.,,,

  • To respect other parties
  • To understand other parties
  • To prove or provide the beneficial outcome
  • Negative comments or condemnation won’t help but destruct everything
  • Must have the constructive opinion

Which include the dolphin and whale situation of Japan.

YokosoNews can’t start Dolphin and Whale debates UNLESS

You help YokosoNews grow and become capable to bringing the positive outcome to both parties

Now let’s talk about the dolphin and whale issue of Japan.

Conclusion, YokosoNews will not talk about dolphin and whale topics unless YokosoNews gain enough support from our audience and gained enough power to bring the positive outcome to both parties.

This is why I came to this conclusion because of the following reasons.

The situation is UGLY

The failure of both Japanese fishermen and animal activists

Currently, I am disappointed and tired of listening to the both sides of Japanese and animal rights activists.

Both sides failed to:

  • understand each culture
  • failed to learn each other
  • failed to respect each other

Both Japanese and animal rights activists pays no respect each other. If you don’t respect each other, the conflict becomes……

It’s now just ugly childish fight

For me, the conflict between Japanese fisheries industry and animal rights activists are yelling at each other, NO LONGER listen to each others’ opinions.

YokosoNews doesn’t want to get involved with childish fight.

Why it became childish fight?

When the people from different cultures join the debate, they must learn and compromise each other respectably. Japanese fishermen needs to learn “western” style debate. And animal rights group needs to respect the Japanese way of expressing their opinion.

In short, if Japanese people think their idea is right, they will shut their mouth. The virtue of Japanese is “silence is golden”. However, in the western culture, if the people kept quiet, she/he could be considered “guilty”.

Both parties slowly realized the difference and they tried to come closer. However, they already lost the trust each other. I believe they already broke the bond of trust too deep. They need the moderator.

We need “adult” moderator for childish fight

The only “person” who can bring the peace to the childish fights is “the adult”. YokosoNews needs to grow up to become influential and beneficial to both animal rights group and Japanese fishermen.

If YokosoNews becomes beneficial entity to both parties. They will listen to YokosoNews.

YokosoNews cannot, yet, bring the positive outcome

YokosoNews will not talk about and get involved with the dolphin and whale issue simply because YokosoNews is not capable of providing the enough evidence, research, finance, nor time yet.

We must build the real constructive debates

YokosoNews recognize that we need to focus the following debates. But if we cover them, we must beĀ  fully responsible.

Talk with the responsibility OR no talk

Since 311 Tsunami Earthquake, YokosoNews has been spending most of our resources to Tsunami, Earthquake and Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant incident.We are committed to report until the end because YokosoNews is the media with responsibility and commitment.

Therefore, in order to keep being the responsible media for dolphin and whale issue, YokosoNews believes that we need to cover ALL of the following debates, at least. And we must have enough resources to complete. OR we must not talk about it.

“Killing Cruelty” Debate

First debate is “killing dolphin and whale” debate.

YokosoNews thinks that we need to cover the following parties to start the discussion.

  1. Fishermen who catch dolphin and whale
  2. Fishermen who don’t fish dolphin and whale
  3. Animal rights activists which are ONLY against whale and dolphin fishing
  4. Animal rights activists which are against ALL animal killing (Vegans)
  5. Cattle farmers and fishermen who kill animals to eat

In order to build the constructive debate, YokosoNews needs to have enough finance, volunteer, staff and time to cover and introduce all aspects. We also need to talk with:

  • Experts (college professors)
  • Politicians (Japanese and other countries especially Autralia)
  • Philosophers

YokosoNews must obtain interviews of experts (which cost money, or volunteer and time)

YokosoNews will need your help with resources (finance, staff, connections and other resources)

“We can kill cows but not dolphin” debate

Many people (including many Japanese) simply against killing whale and dolphin because they think they are cute.

Then many people dislike the idea of “Simply being against because of cuteness.” Some Japanese people says “As long as people keeps killing cows, pigs and chickens, Japanese are entitled to fish whale and dolphins”

Then we also have to consider vegetarians and vegans…

  • Who supports eating dolphin & whale
  • Who only supports eating meat and fish
  • Vegetarians who don’t eat meat but fish
  • Muslims who don’t eat pork
  • Vegans who are against eating any animals

This has only one solution: open debate.

However, this debate had never got crossed each other because of the language barriers. YokosoNews would like to launch the large scale debate between Pro-and-Cons side. But we need space, time, enough translators to conduct the debate.

“Endangered Species” debate

Animal rights activist claims that dolphin and whale are endangered species.

Some Japanese fishermen claims that too many dolphin and whales actually breaks the food-chain. In the past, Japanese fishermen in Nagasaki had to kill the dolphins because there were too many dolphins between 1978 and 1986. Some people claims that they sometime need to kill dolphins so that they can control the food chain.

YokosoNews would like to confirm the facts by hiring and/or interviewing various experts, and conduct the research if necessary.

Alternative Job Support (?)

One of main concern over Japanese fishermen are simply job. Many fishermen has been fishing over hundreds of years. They have proud. Fishing is their history and identity. If we ask them to quit the thousand-year-old tradition and job, we should help them to present new job opportunities.

I saw a NHK documentary that one animal rights activisit tried to give one (1) million yen to a fisherman to quit fishing. That would be a good approach but 1 million yen to too little.

According to various sources, there are at least a couple hundred fishermen who have been making the living of doing the whale and dolphin fishing.

Unless they can come up with new industry to support thousand jobs for the fisherman.. which could cost billions of yen, the above act is very childish.

Etc etc etc….

Mercury health risk, and etc etc…. This is a few of topics and debates that I’m thinking about doing.

Why YokosoNews?

YokosoNews is only one English online media in Japan which led by Japanese. During the March 11 disaster, YokosoNews was only English media to provide the comprehensive information about the disaster to the rest of the world

It’s because YokosoNews understands both Japanese culture, the non-Japanese culture, and media.

YokosoNews understand Japanese culture and where to find the right information about Japan. At the same time, YokosoNews can listen to non-Japanese because of our experience as 44-year-old entertainment media in Los Angeles.

I believe that YokosoNews is the only one media which suits to do this job.

However, especially after 311 Tsunami and Earthquake disaster in Tohoku and Fukushima, we are facing the lack of resources.

Help YokosoNews to grow

If you want to solve the conflict, YokosoNews asks your help. First please help us spread the word of YokosoNews. Become a volunteer reporter. Help us find the sponsor to end the conflict and help Japanese people grow.

What you can do for us now

  • Help promote YokosoNews
  • Enjoy the show

As I mentioned earlier, Japanese people don’t recognize YokosoNews and our efforts yet. Simply tell your friends about YokosoNews and enjoy the live show.

It’s very important to have fun in order to talk about serious topics for the positive result. I would like to build the strong online community that can enjoy our lives so that we can face our serious problem.

Practically, what we need to start dolphin and whale project

In order to start the project about dolphin and whale, we need financial and labor support. In order to conduct the project, we would need some full-time staff or volunteer with Japanese, English and media experience.

To be exact, we would need to raise or collect the following team

  • Project
    • Dolphin, Whale and Japan
  • Terms
    • 2 years
  • Must Requirement
    • The constructive relationship with Japanese fishermen
    • The constructive relationship with animal rights activists
  • Contents
    • Series of online video documentary
    • 3~4 events with local residents with English translation with live cast
    • 3~4 events & live cast – all over the world
    • 3~4 Interview and round table discussions with experts
  • Team
    • (1) Producer
    • (1) Director / Writer / Editor
    • (2) Editor & Broadcaster
    • (2) Online media & marketing
  • Budget
    • 50,000,000 ~ 100,000,000 yen
      ( US$ 630K ~ 1.24 million)
    • Budget varies depends on how many staff can work as volunteer

If you are serious about solving the issue of dolphin and whales, please help us raise the money, or develop the project.

However, practically, I don’t think we will able to build the support quickly… Therefore, I would like you to help promote YokosoNews for now.

Thank you for reading. And I’m open to any suggestions and help.

PS.

Now, I need to write Japanese version… It’s the challenge that I must write this in both Japanese and English so that both Japanese and English speaker can be at the same level… but it is time consuming…. So I need your HELP!!!!

  • I’m a one of volanteer of Amnesty International and Green Peace. Maybe I can help you a little, if you want to dig it.

    Yoshi

  • I have no degrees, no money, and speak very little Japanese but understand more cultural differences and etiquette. I suppose this would qualify me as ‘philosopher’.