Despite some reports, a statement from the Japanese embassy says The Cove can be screened freely in Japan, and it may have been shown at the Tokyo International Film Festival.
The mayor of Taiji also shares his reaction to this award-winning film with Oprah Show producers. In the statement, he says: "The movie portrays false claims not based on science as if they are true. We regret that. It's important to mutually respect food culture based upon the understanding of long-standing traditions and circumstances in each region."
Over the past 10 years, however, Louie says all dolphin meat tested in Japan has been deemed toxic by Japanese standards. Ric says this meat contains very high levels of mercury.
"When Ric and I first got to Taiji, they were feeding it to school children because school lunch is compulsory. You're not allowed to bring your own, and you have to eat everything on your plate," Louie says. "We put a stop to that."
SeaWorld vice president Fred Jacobs also weighs in. "SeaWorld opposes the dolphin hunts documented in The Cove. We do not purchase any animals from these hunts," he says in a statement. "More than 80 percent of the marine mammals in our care were born in our parks. We haven't collected a dolphin from the wild in decades."