The power of letters...the beginning of protest. 

                                                          November 21, 2008

Dear Mayor Kadokawa:

For over ten years my family and I have enjoyed many beautiful aspects of Kyoto City.  From Kiyomizu-dera to Ryoan-ji, from the beautiful seasonal changes in Arashiyama to hiking up Daimonji Mountain, we have made visiting Kyoto a part of our lives. 

We even appreciate Kyoto train station as a new symbol of modern Kyoto.  We are also fiercely proud that Kyoto has given its name to stand up for environmental issues in the Kyoto Protocol.  However, there is something that has come to our attention—a shock that has motivated me to deliver this letter personally to your office. 

We are distressed over news of the possibility of a dolphin theater to be constructed as part of the aquarium in Umekoji Park.  Is this true?  We have heard that this will involve taking wild dolphins from their family pods living near Japanese fishing villages.  Is it true that only the young beautiful dolphins will be chosen for this aquarium and that their family members will be butchered for meat? 

Please say this is not so.  Please say that you will not accept some of the ocean's most intelligent creatures to be starved into submission to perform tricks for visitors in Japan's first inland artificial salt water aquarium.

Are you aware of the high mortality rates of the captive Pacific White-sided Dolphins (Kama Iruka) at the Kaiyukan in Osaka?  It is challenging even for an experienced aquarium to keep dolphins alive in captivity.  Are you aware that the typically high mercury content for wild dolphins will require the aquarium to do dispose of the dead dolphins as toxic waste?  

We are further concerned that the short life-span for wild performing dolphins will create the need to purchase even more dolphins from the barbarous hunts that continue weekly in places like Taiji, Wakayama.

Are you aware that no developed country currently employs wild dolphins?  We believe that the millions of foreign tourists who visit Kyoto annually will be appalled to learn that a Kyoto aquarium helps support the hunting of wild dolphins for entertainment theater and the killing of their families to support the dolphin meat industry.  Please do not accept dolphins to be a part of this aquarium.


Steven Thompson

Cell: 090-1226-2317

55-38-203 Funada-cho

Kadoma-shi, Japan

















あなた方は、 大阪の海遊館における太平洋で捕獲されたカマイルカの高い死亡率についてご存知でしょうか?あのように長い経験を持つ水族館でさえ、捕獲したイルカを生存させる事に苦労しているのです。また野生のイルカが持つ高い水銀の量により、死亡したイルカは毒物として処分しなければならない旨をご存知でしょうか?








               スティーブン トンプソン



November 21, 2008








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