Japan’s Growing Animal Rights Movement
By Hans Peter Roth
Save Japan Dolphins
Earth Island Institute
On Sunday, we participated in an anti-fur demonstration in Tokyo. Several hundred Japanese people marched against animal cruelty from Yoyogi Park across the famous Shibuya Pedestrian crossing and then along a street circuit back to Yoyogi Park. The demo was very well organized. The participants were enthusiastic and performed impressively with their slogans on loudspeakers and hundreds of banners, posters and signs, drawing attention from literally tens of thousands of pedestrians.
It was really moving to see these people walking into areas around Shibuya that I first saw when I came to join Ric’s dolphin celebration event on September 1st, 2010. There is change happening here. And this is really remarkable in a country where people are raised to remain silent and not be critical of almost anything. Just before the "No Fur" demo there was another march against nuclear energy, where the demonstrators actually seemed to have fun doing it. It was almost like a Samba March, with lots of drums and other percussive instruments.
To us, these movements are hopeful signs of growing awareness regarding issues like the environment or animal cruelty. And the "No Fur" demo is also a hopeful sign for the dolphins around Japan, as most of these people would obviously also oppose dolphin and porpoise hunting. Speaking of which – there will be an anti-dolphin-hunting demo in Tokyo on November 24th, organized by Japanese dolphin lovers!
Photo by Hans Peter Roth.