Letter to the Emperor of Japan
from Anthony Marr
Since I posted my Japan pieces, my Space has come under intense scrutiny from diverse sources in Japan. Latest is a series of 20 hits over the last 24 hours, from a source, would you believe, right within the grounds of the Japanese Imperial Palace! If you wish to see for yourself, go to www. myspace. com/AnthonyMarr, scroll down the right column until you’ve arrived at the 2 tracker maps right above my Top-40 friends. Click on the hit from Japan in the second display, magnify the resulting map, and you will arrive, as I did, inside the bounds of the Imperial Palace in the heart of Tokyo.
I admit that I have fantasized about speaking with the Prime Minister of Canada, and the Queen of England, and the President of the United States, and the President of China, and even the Pope, but never have I imagined a meeting of minds with the Emperor of Japan. So now that I have inadvertently captured his attention, I may as well open to him my heart and mind, and thereby to the whole people of Japan. And this is what I have to say:
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I am speaking as Anthony Marr, for myself, but I believe I am also speaking on behalf of millions of compassionate people around the world, who abhor the cruelty and arrogance of whaling and dolphining. I, we, have a very simple request to make to Your Majesty:
Please end whaling, and the slaughtering and capturing of dolphins, and relegate these obsolescent practices forever into the past.
This is it. I am not saying “or else”, nor am I calling for a boycott. I just want to appeal to your sense of justice and compassion, to please spare the whales and dolphins the horrible fate to which they have been subjected by your whaling and dolphining industries. Please bear in mind, and at heart, that there is no humane way to kill a whale or a dolphin, and that these are highly social creatures whose love for each other is no less than yours and mine.
And further, Your Majesty, I appeal to your sense of love and obligation for the Japanese people to stop feeding them whale and dolphin meat which we all know are overladen with mercury and other toxins. I make this appeal especially on behalf of the children of Japan, whose mental development is highly susceptible to the retarding effects of mercury. I have always held the intelligence of the Japanese people in high esteem, and would hate to see Japanese children dumbed down for the profit of a globally reviled industry.
Your majesty, your country has enormous wealth. The prosperity of the Japanese economy will not suffer to any significant degree by the shutting down of the whaling industry, and in Taiji, there are only 27 dolphin killers against the will of the world.
During my visits to your country, Your Majesty, I have been impressed by the congeniality, discipline and sense of honor amongst the Japanese people. But where is the honor of claiming what in essence is commercial whaling to be “RESEARCH”?
I also know for a fact that from the heart the Japanese people can be highly compassionate. I have seen people in other Japanese villages rescuing stranded dolphins and beached whales rather than exploiting them, much less killing them. I ask you to honor these compassionate villagers instead of those without mercy.
As you may have gathered, I was born in China during the Japanese invasion. The stories I have heard of massacre, rape, torture and pillage, and articles I have read, and pictures I have seen, are horrendous beyond measure. I have lost family members directly at Japanese hands. China lost 20 million civilians in a Chinese Holocaust forced by Japan. I have reason to be furious with your country. I’m sure that you would understand had it happened to you, Your Majesty.
Referring to the last photo, Your Majesty, I could have been one of these babies, but, for the whales, and the dolphins, and the children of Japan, I pledge to you that if you will stop whaling and dolphining, I will bury the hatchet, leave all my fury behind, and celebrate a more compassionate future with the Japanese people, I give you my word. And just as seriously, we who are driven by compassion will never rest. This is not a threat; it is just in our nature.
Please allow me one final question, Your Majesty – Are pride and profit worth damaging the Japanese reputation and character? And one last suggestion, that Japan leads the remaining whaling nations out of the dark ages into enlightenment.
Anthony Marr, founder and president
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)