We have received a great deal of international correspondence lately suggesting that we "Boycott Japan" as a strategy to solve the drive fisheries problem. Although we are not telling other NGOs what their strategy should be, I wanted to clarify that we think a boycott of Japan is a big mistake. Having been to Japan and witnessed the dolphin slaughter up-close and personal, we can report with absolute certainty that theJapanese people are not guilty of these crimes against nature. From what we saw, 26 whalers in 13 boats drive the dolphins into a cove and slaughter them. The vast majority of the people in Taiji and surrounding villages are exceptionally friendly, and they should not be targeted and punished for something they are not guilty of.
I spent most of 1975 and 1976 traveling from Coconut Grove, Florida, to several cities in the United States and eventually Japan with scores of Japanese and American musicians and environmentalists such as Fred Neil, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, Shigado Izumia, Warren Zevon, Harry Hossano, John Sebastian, Governor Jerry Brown, Paul Winter Consort and a great many other concerned artists. We were known as "The Rolling Coconut Review," and we were trying to put a stop to the BOYCOTT JAPAN, SAVE THE WHALES campaign. Eventually we succeeded. The boycott was the chosen strategy of most of the well-funded US animal welfare and environmental groups who pooled their money and took out full page advertisements in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, etc. to get their boycott message out to the American public. This misguided campaign did not save any whales. However, as a direct result of the BOYCOTT JAPAN campaign, Japanese-American children were beaten up on the playgrounds of the USA and called "Jap whale killers." (Jap is a derogatory term) Surely, this is not a situation that we would want to create once again.