Tokyo cinemas drop 'The Cove'

Protesters bombard distributor with calls

Updated 11:10 June 5 Beijing time

TOKYO – The first cinemas due to show “The Cove” in Japan have bowed to pressure from right-wing protest groups and pulled the documentary.
 
A movie theater in Shibuya, central Tokyo, had planned to start showing the Oscar-winning, anti-dolphin-hunting film from June 26.

According to Unplugged, the distributor, Theater N has been inundated with phone complaints. A small but vociferous nationalist group has been protesting at the distributor’s office, and outside the president of the company’s house.

By the close of business on Friday, two other cinemas -- Cinemart Tokyo and Cinemart Osaka -- had also canceled plans to show the film.
 
“It’s unfortunate that a few extremists scared one of the Tokyo venues from showing 'The Cove' but I’m confident that the Japanese people will now be even more curious to know what these few people are trying so hard to hide. The extremists themselves are scared of the truth being known because what they are trying to hide cannot survive debate," said director Louis Psihoyos in a statement.
 
Unplugged said that at this time other cinemas nationwide are still planning to show the documentary this summer.
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