Stop Constructing the Kyoto Aquarium!

To:  Kyoto Mayor, Mr. Daisaku Kadokawa
       ORIX Real Estate Corporation President, Mr. Yoshiyuki Yamaya

Photo (c) Institute of Biodiversity in Japan
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Petition to request the cancellation of construction of the Kyoto Aquarium

The city of Kyoto is a city not only blessed with mountains and rivers, a cultural capital filled with temples, shrines and traditional houses, but is also a leading environmental city and birthplace of the Kyoto protocol.

A great many visitors from overseas come to Kyoto.  But in July 2010, in the city-run Umekoji Park, a private organization (ORIX Real Estate Corporation) started construction of an aquarium with dolphin shows as its centerpiece.

In a number of countries there is a growing awareness of wild animals and their conservation, and a growing movement to end the use of captive dolphins for display and performance.  There is also great concern that not only dolphins but also other animals in captivity in the planned aquarium will suffer untimely deaths due to being kept in small and overcrowded conditions.             

Japan currently has around 100 aquariums, representing one-fifth of the total 500 aquariums worldwide. Japan also leads the world in the number of aquariums per capita. Given that indiscriminate fishing is causing the constant depletion of marine life, building a new aquarium and adding even further to the capture of marine wildlife is a contradiction of Kyoto's aims to be an environmentally advanced city.

The Mayor of Kyoto has publicly stated that dolphin shows are an effective means to teach young people about nature conservation. But we believe that nature conservation should be taught in Kyoto's mountains and rivers, and Umekoji Park should be preserved as the oasis of green that it is today.

We strongly request that the construction of the aquarium be canceled immediately.

For more information about the Kyoto Aquarium, please click here.
For the related article on New York Times, please click here.
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