In our footage you can also see a man with a Taiji Whale Museum coat standing by as pilot whales are slaughtered. The Whale Museum brokers the sale of live animals to dolphinariums around the world, so the connection between the captivity industry and the slaughter is apparent.
"Taiji's fishing community is equally adamant that no international pressure, no matter how intense, will dissuade them from doing what they've done for years. Thus, the annual dolphin drive commenced as usual this past September, as tradition demands."
The notion that Mr. Powell would write that their tradition demands their behavior is a clear bias in his reporting. While tradition is deeply important to Japanese culture, the dolphin drive hunt in Taiji just does not fall within the scope of tradition. When the Japanese fishermen and their supporters trot out the tradition card, it's a weak excuse for behavior that has no other defense.
The mayor of Taiji says that their tradition of killing dolphins goes back to the 1600's, but there is no way fishermen could ever sustain a village by catching dolphins in a big wooden canoe by pounding rocks over the side as he claims. In reality, the dolphin drive hunts have evolved in the last few decades into a mechanized industrial slaughter-a bunch of fishermen banging underwater pipes from fast diesel powered Mitsubishi boats chasing down dolphin family pods for circus shows like those seen at SeaWorld. Ex-dolphin hunter Izumi Ishii recently came out on record verifying this, saying that the dolphin drives started in 1969, hardly a traditional practice.