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June 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Following a decision by movie theaters in Japan to cancel their planned screenings of a documentary about the slaughter of dolphins in a Japanese village, a group of 55 Japanese journalists, academics and film directors have condemned the angry protests that led to the cancellations. Demonstrators had warned that they would picket theaters showing The Cove when it opened and had been staging noisy protests in front of the distributor’s office in Tokyo. Early today (Wednesday), however, the protesters were chastised by a group that includes famed director Hirokazu Koreeda (Still Walking, After Life, Nobody Knows), who said: “This is a film that has been widely shown abroad. If the work, which is about Japan, cannot be shown in Japan, it only underlines the weakness of freedom of speech in Japan.”