I didn't realize that the government here in Japan was complicit in the culling of large numbers of dolphin every year. I had always assumed that it was a private, somewhat localized practice.
However, it seems that the practice is alive and well, and despite the government's involvement it is still getting little coverage by the media in Japan. Many of the people that I have talked to (who have either grown up, or spent many years, in Japan) had no idea that dolphins were being hunted. This makes me wonder how it could be such a time-honored tradition in Japan (as government officials have claimed) when few people seem to know about it.
TPR has posted a video of the yearly dolphin hunt that is narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, so I recommend clicking on over there to watch it (if you just ate, I recommend waiting a couple of hours before viewing the video).
I wrote a little something about the subject of dolphin hunting last January, so click here for a related post from this blog (sorry, the articles linked to at the end are from three or four years ago).