Japanese peace activist Yoko Ono has joined the row of high-profile opposition to Japan’s annual dolphin hunt in Taiji cove, days after US ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy took to Twitter to express her concern on the massive cull.

The widow of pop music icon John Lennon voiced her plea in an open letter to the people of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture where the annual bloodbath takes place.

Japanese fishermen herded more than 250 dolphins into a cove in the ongoing hunt, in which the prettiest would be selected to be sold into captivity at marine parks and aquariums while the others will be butchered for their meat, according to conservation group Sea Shepherd.

In her letter addressed to “Japanese fishermen of Taiji”, Ono said the killings was damaging the reputation of Japan.

“I am sure that it is not easy, but please consider the safety of the future of Japan, surrounded by many powerful countries which are always looking for a chance to weaken the power of our country,” Ono wrote.

“At this very politically sensitive time, the hunt will make the children of the world hate the Japanese.”

It “will give an excuse for big countries and their children in China, India and Russia to speak ill of Japan.”

“For many, many years and decades we have worked hard to receive true understanding of the Japanese from the world,” she said.

“But what we enjoy now, can be destroyed literally in one day. I beg of you to consider our precarious situation after the nuclear disaster (which could very well affect the rest of the world, as well).”

Kennedy tweeted her disapproval of the cull, saying she was “deeply concerned by the inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing.”

“USG (US Government) opposes drive hunt fisheries,” Kennedy said in her post.

Paul Watson, founder of the radical Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, said he hoped Kennedy’s remarks would put pressure on Tokyo to halt the practice, which Taiji town claims is an important ritual dating back centuries.

“This really has no place in the 21st century,” he said.

By Maesie Bertumen

Image: sebra / Shutterstock.com