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Japanese, U.S. universities to discuss whaling in June

TOKYO — Japan’s Kyoto University and the University of California, Los Angeles will hold open discussions on the controversy over the Japanese tradition of whaling and dolphin hunting after the screening of a documentary on the issue in June.


Keiko Yagi, who directed “Behind the Cove,” said Friday she hopes the events at the two universities will lead to “understanding of Japanese whaling and ridding it of the tarnished image of being atrocious and evil.”


She made the 2015 film to counter the “unilateral content” of the 2010 Oscar-winning U.S. film “The Cove,” which thrust the small Japanese whaling town of Taiji into the international spotlight with bloody scenes of its annual dolphin hunt.


“‘The Cove’ is still used today as teaching material in high schools and universities, and the number of young people who swallow its content without questioning keeps increasing,” Yagi said.


Yagi will attend both discussions at the Japanese and U.S. universities, which will follow the free screening of “Behind the Cove” on their campuses.


The event at Kyoto University will be held on June 3 and at UCLA on June 14.


The documentary will be also screened at Nibei Foundation, a California nonprofit organization and hub of medical research and Japanese cultural exchanges in Los Angeles, on June 17.


The series of screenings will be held ahead of the Japanese film’s release in multiple languages in 189 countries on Netflix in late August.

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