Right-wing protesters denounce 'The Cove'
THR correspondent accosted by group leaderTOKYO – A group of around 20 right-wing protesters shouted slogans, calling the Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove” a “terrorist film” outside the Japanese distributor’s offices in central Tokyo.
The group, waving both the Japanese flag and the military rising sun insignia, called for the president of distribution company Unplugged to show himself and explain why he was showing the film, “helping the white Americans bash Japan.”
“These Americans don’t think we’re human, us yellow-skinned people,” yelled the besuited leader of the demonstration.
The protesters were prevented by a large contingent of police from reaching the Unplugged offices.
The right-wingers also took exception to THR's Tokyo correspondent's laughter at some of their more amusing slogans whilst taking notes in front of Unplugged. A group of them came across the street and the police intervened in order to prevent an escalation of the situation.
The correspondent was later grabbed by the leader of the group, after which he was moved down the street as the police regarded his presence as “dangerous and provocative.”
Unplugged was concerned enough about the demonstration to e-mail director Louis Psihoyos and the film’s international sales agent saying they may not now be able to show “The Cove” in Japan.
The distributor has already agreed to blur out the faces of the dolphin fisherman in the documentary, and include the fact that some locals dispute the claims of dangerously high mercury levels in the animals flesh.
This has failed to appease opponents of the film and further legal action and demonstrations would appear to be on the cards.
A fisherman’s group attempted to sue Tokyo International Film Festival last year after it agreed to show the film following considerable pressure, including jury president Alejandro González Iňárritu threatening to resign.