Japan Orders Deportation of "The Cove" Star
Ric O’Barry, former dolphin trainer for the TV series “Flipper” and star of the documentary “The Cove”, was detained upon arrival in Tokyo’s Narita international airport, with an order of deportation.
“The Cove”, released in 2009, focused on following O’Barry in his attempts to document dolphin hunting in Taiji, Wakayama, Japan. As a result of the documentary, O’Barry has faced questioning by Japanese immigration in the past, but this is the first time he has been detained and prevented from entry.
He has refused his deportation order, stating he arrived as a tourist to see dolphins. In an e-mail exchange with his son, Lincoln O’Barry, he stated:
“I’m incarcerated, on trumped up charges. In a world where so much that is wild and free has already been lost to us, we must leave these beautiful dolphins free to swim as they will and must.”
The Japanese authorities rejected O’Barry’s appeal to enter the country, and his lawyer, Takashi Takano, stated it was due to them claiming he lied during questioning, and has ties to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. They have also stated that since O’Barry has lied to them before about not attending an event last August in Tokyo titled “Japan Dolphins Day”, they do not trust him now.
After refusing the deportation order, O’Barry was taken to a detention facility near Narita airport. His lawyer was able to visit him on Friday, and said he was alone but in good spirits. However, according to Takano, the government is planning to issue a formal warrant to physically deport him from Japan.
Photo Credit: http://verleih.polyfilm.at/