For Many years now, the Japanese pro-whaling/dolphin hunting community and the largely foreign groups who staunchly oppose these activities have been engaging each other in a constant, unending, epic battle to discern who can be the most annoying.
Take last year, when the conservationist Peter Bethune takes his expensive, high tech protest boat Ady Gil and stations it right in the path of the Shin Maru 2.
Yet the Shin Maru 2 doesn`t stop or slow down, slicing the Ady Gil in half and leaving it to sink.
Some time later, after it has already been ruled that both parties had been at fault in the collision, the former captain of the boards the boat to make a citizen`s arrest and present the whaling captain with an invoice for the destruction of the Adt Gil.
Then, instead of kicking him off their ship the crew of the shin maru arrests Bethune and brings him back to Japan, causing much unnecessary drama.
Quite very obnoxious.
To retaliate, in an editorial entitled "Captain Peter Bethune- The Last Samurai!," the Sea Shepard conservation society claims not only that Peter Bethune is a prisoner of war, but that he is also "the only true samurai presently residing in Japan."
WOW that is obnoxious!
So when Bethune arrived in Japan, the ultra nationalists gather to demand he be given the death penalty, as if that wouldn't not lead to any international repercussions.
This is quite possibly the most annoying of all. For when it comes to pure unadultered obnoxiousness, bear in mind that the Japanese right wing is hardly ever outdone. This is the citizens brigade, mind you, that camps outside foreign residences and schools blaring god-awful WW2 battle hymns and shouting racially charged insults through megaphones.
But wait, hold that trophy. Just today, just now, I have read about what might be the most annoying action ever taken by anti-whale/dolphin hunting activists, ever.
Get this, the star of the dolphin-hunting documentary "The Cove," Ric O`Barry, will come to the city of Taiji next week at the start of the town`s annual dolphin hunt to:
"lead a prayer ceremony in Taiji for people who have died in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster and for the dolphins about to die in the hunt. He is traveling by bus with two dozen people who are all dolphin-lovers, he said."
I hate to spoil the opportunistic nature of this "vigil," but it seems that some people are too busy loving dolphins to even bother looking at a map. Taiji is in Wakayama, which is all the way down on the southern end of Honshu, nowhere near the areas of northern Japan that were ravaged by the tsunami!
Given the cute and cuddly nature of dolphins, is difficult for anyone who hasn`t been brought up in the tradition to actually support the dolphin hunt in Taiji. Still, these "vigil holding" protesters are driving me alarmingly close.